By John Agaba
Water transport on Uganda lakes is not regulated.
According to Eng. Bernard Khabakha, the inspector of water vessels in Uganda, water covers about 18% of the total square miles that make up the country.
However, the majority form of transport on these water bodies is not regulated.
“We don’t have standards we can use to regulate the sector. The current standards are outdated and not enforceable. You cannot accurately determine the capacity of any boat because all these ‘things’ you see on our lakes carrying people don’t qualify to be carrying people,” said Khabakha.
“You need standards to regulate water transport. But we cannot have the standards because we don’t have standard boats,” he added. “We give them (the boats) license because there is no option, people have to move.”
Uganda has had its share of lake accidents, the latest being last month’s incident where 108 mainly Congolese refugees drowned on Lake Albert after the boat they were travelling in capsized.
Water transport not regulated