By Tom Gwebayanga
The long awaited ferry connecting the districts of Kamuli and Kayunga has started operations across the River Nile.
This comes 35 years after the previous ferry plied the route stopped working.
The ferry is expected to significantly reduce transport costs for travellers.
In the past, Kamuli residents had to travel through Jinja to reach Kampala, which took longer.
While inspecting the ferry at Bugondha landing site in Kamuli on Tuesday, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, urged residents to use it to improve their livelihood and reduce poverty. She said the ferry presents an opportunity to improve business.
The ferry was purchased by the Government to replace the previous one that developed mechanical problems in the early 1980s.
“People did a lot of business when the old ferry was still operating. Now that we have a replacement, let’s use the opportunity to fight poverty,” Kadaga, who is also the Woman MP for Kamuli, said.
Flanked by Asumani Kiyingi, the foreign affairs state minister and Bugabula South MP, Kadaga made her first trip across the river on the ferry before proceeding to Kampala.
Buzaya County MP Martin Muzaale, former regional affairs minister Isaac Musumba and Kamuli LC5 chairperson Salaamu Musumba also took their first ride on the ferry.
Kiyingi thanked President Yoweri Museveni for the ferry and urged residents to trust the NRM Government.
“We have not had a ferry in 30 years. So let’s keep pace with modernity and use it meaningfully,” he said.
The sh2.2b four-engine ferry that can carry eight vehicles and over 100 people was assembled by the Uganda National Roads Authority.
The ferry was meant to ply between Mbulamuti and Nabuganyi landing sites, but was changed because the route was rocky.
It takes three minutes to cross the river and shall operate between 7:00am and 6:45pm free of charge. President Yoweri Museveni is expected to commission the ferry soon.