Kalangala, Uganda – The Ministry of Works and Transport has cleared MV Kalangala to make extra trips during the festive season.
The clearance through Nation Oil Distributors Limited, the company that operates MV Kalangala is part of the efforts by the Ministry to manage increased number of tourists getting to the Ssese Islands for holidays.
Waiswa Bageya, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of works and Transport, in a letter to the Managing Director Nation Oil Distributors Sadala Musoke highlighted that clearance will make it easier to have more trips to and from Kalangala with aim to make transport to the Island district better.
“In a bid to serve the public better and ensure safety of the passengers traveling to and from Kalangala island, the ministry has found it necessary to adjust the schedule of the Vessel during the Christmas holiday,” Bageya indicated in a communication on Friday evening.
The changes take effect on Sunday afternoon as the vessel is expected to travel to and from Kalangala twice a day to cater for the increasing traffic.
Currently, the vessel whose capacity is 105 passengers is transporting an average of 350 passengers on a single trip. One of the passengers Richard Kalule told Uganda Radio Network that the influx of passengers has also caused commotion yet there is no increase in the number of services provided on the vessel.
“We now have to line up to go to the washrooms yet the lake is rough. We request that a plan is made available for all those who intend to use the vessel on how to serve the people on the vessel effectively,” says Kalule.
The Permanent Secretary Waiswa Bageya also cautioned the vessel operators to follow the loading capacity of the water vessel. MV Kalangala has been making one return journey to Entebbe daily. The vessel takes three and a half hours to move from Kalangala to Entebbe.
In a bid to reduce traffic, MV Vanessa, another Marine Vessel that plys the Entebbe – Kalangala route has increased on the number of trips to and from the Island District. The vessel has also started ferrying people on a daily basis until January 4th next year. The vessel used to ply to Kalangala only on Fridays.
Rogers Munaawa, the Chairperson of the Ssese Islands Tourism Development Association says government needs to start planning on the purchase of another marine vessel to handle the ever increasing number of tourists getting to the island district.