By Isaac Ssali
The minister for Works and Transport Gen Edward Katumba Wamala has disclosed that Kalangala’s main marine vessel MV Kalangala is to resume operations before the end of this month.
Wamala said that all works on the docking piers have been finalized to give the vessel a clear docking ground.
He dismissed rumors of misunderstandings between the contractor and government over the ferry operations that have been in circulation, adding that all technical work is done.
“I want to assure Kalangala community, tourists and all mariners that the ferry is in a very good condition, and ready to serve before the end of the month”, said Wamala.
The vessel that connects Kalangala with Entebbe stopped voyage in January and taken to Mwanza port in Tanzania for servicing counting eight months today without its operations.
According to General Katumba, the ferry took more time in Mwanza than usual because the floating dock was still being used to repair other ferries.
By the time of its return, the ministry with advice form engineers directed that the ferry stays at Nakiwogo as the docking piers are being upgraded.
“As you all recall, that time the piers had submerged due to the uncontrollable increasing water levels, and the ministry directed for the upgrade for the safety of crew and passengers,” he added.
However, the minister advised all mariners to follow the Standard Operational Procedures set by government in the fight against covid-19 like half capacity carrier, wearing face masks, sanitizing and social distancing among others.
“This should not come as a surprise when fairs are increased because we all know what is happening in the country and we need the ferry service, therefore we shall have to accommodate a few passengers who meet the requirements”, added Wamala.
Kalangala leadership has embraced the message saying that it had taken long but so encouraging.
Willy Lugoloobi the district chairperson has said that the upgrade of the docking piers created more hope in the ferry users and they have always been anxious about resumption of operations.
“We thank the minister for taking enough time and seeing that we receive a better service”, said Lugoloobi.
While inspecting the ferry at Lutoboka pier, Daniel Kikoola Kalangala District Resident Commissioner accompanied by security officials applauded government for upgrading the pier which he said will last for generations.
This comes months after hotels had resumed operations but affected by transport hence crying out for expedition in the renovation of the docking piers.