During the launch of the ferry at Buvuma islands, the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala said the investment in the vessel shows government commitment to provide safe and reliable means of transport.
Buvuma and Buikwe communities were on Friday overwhelmed with excitement during the launch of the 300-passenger state of the art ferry.
Marine Vessel (MV) Kiyindi-Buvuma is replacing the ageing and limping MV Kiyindi ferry which has outlived its lifespan.
During the launch of the ferry at Buvuma islands, the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala said the investment in the vessel shows government commitment to provide safe and reliable means of transport to people of Buvuma.
Wamala revealed that Buvuma is yet to receive another ferry in collaboration with the agriculture ministry for the promotion of palm oil production in the area.
He said the vessels will ease transport and connectivity of Buvuma islands to the mainland which will also play a role in improving the general livelihood of communities.
"The ministry is currently revisiting the outdated inland water transport regulations as among other interventions geared towards promoting the water transport industry with an established vibrant maritime department, " said Gen Wamala.
He said COVID-19 and the raised water levels of the lakes and rivers have put the water transport industry to test just like other sectors.
He cautioned the operators of the new ferry to put it to proper use by making justifiable and responsible movements.
Fred Omach the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) board chairman said the government has prioritized ferries in connecting islands to mainlands. He added that more are being built while others are under procurement.
UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina, said MV Kiyindi-Buvuma becomes the 10th vessel they are operating on different navigable waters across the country with more like MV Sigulu for the community of Namayingo expected to be launched very soon.
However, Kagina said they are currently challenged by the rising water levels that have devastated the landing sites with some left submerged.
Buikwe district chairperson Mathias Kigongo said the new Kiyindi-Buvuma ferry has relieved the community of the old ferry that has been breaking down repeatedly.