By Our reporter
KAMPALA, Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) is advanced states to procure five new ferries to transport about 10,000 people per day on several water bodies in the next three years, According to Mr Mr Reuben Tumwebaze Byaruhanga, the director road infrastructure protection, UNRA, the ferries are to ease transport on Lake Victoria, Lake Alber, Lake Bunyonyi and River Nile.
“Sigulu ferry is currently under construction in Masese, Jinja. It will be completed by the end of June 2019 to connect Namayingo district by linking the communities at the mainland to Sigulu and Lolwe Islands. The landing sites for the Sigulu Ferry Crossing are also under development,” he said.
Amuru Rhino Camp Ferry is scheduled to start by end of June 2019 to connect communities of Amuru and Arua district and construction of the landing facilities is ongoing, Byaruhanga told journalists Friday, December 7, 2018.
He also named the second Kiyindi Buvuma Ferry to support the islands and vegetable oil palm project by 2020.
“Others are Bukungu Kagwara Kaberamaido Ferry and Lake Buyonyi Ferry Project,” Mr Byaruhanga said.
Asked how much money has been budgeted, Mr Byaruhanga said, “To procure one ferry costs about Shs15 billion and build the landing sites, houses for staff among others cost another Shs15 billion.”
However one of the biggest challenges is lack of a marine school, Mr Byaruhanga noted.
“The good news is that is we in the process to establish a school Namasagali,” he said. Adding, “The other unfortunate incidents are fishermen who put fishing nets in our routes.”
Ms Ritah Makumbi, an engineer, UNRA, assured the public that all the ten UNRA ferries are surveyed by international audit firms.
Recently a boat capsized on Lake Victoria killing 31 people.