The Uganda National Roads Authority is finalizing works on MV Sigulu, the largest ferry in Uganda so far, which will connect Namayingo district to the islands of Sigulu and Dolwe. The ferry constructed by a Danish Johs Gram Hanssen –JGH Marine has a capacity to carry 300 passengers, and close to 20 vehicles. It can move at a speed of 14 kilometres per hour.
Leaders from Namayingo district are optimistic that the newly constructed Sigulu ferry will improve service delivery in the area. They observed that social services had stalled in the islands as a number of government employees declined deployment to Sigulu and Dolwe islands due to the poor transport network.
But now the Uganda National Roads Authority is finalizing works on MV Sigulu, the largest ferry in Uganda so far, which will connect Namayingo district to the islands of Sigulu and Dolwe. The ferry constructed by a Danish Johs Gram Hanssen –JGH Marine has a capacity to carry 300 passengers, and close to 20 vehicles. It can move at a speed of 14 kilometres per hour.
The Uganda National Roads Authority hopes that the vessel that has been under construction for the last seven months will lead to increased volumes of trade, tourism and access to social services that are not easily available on the islands.
Similarly, Bukooli Islands Member of Parliament George Abott is positive that the islands will now attract government employees due to the presence of the ferry which can transport them from the mainland to their work stations. He adds that the provision of the ferry might bring in more service providers to supplement the state-owned health facilities and schools.
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Abott also hopes that with the ferry in place, road construction equipment can now be transported to the islands to work on the infrastructure which is in a rather sorry state.
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Albert Hisa, the Sigulu islands LCIII chairperson says that health workers and teachers have over the years declined appointments to Sigulu due to the poor state of Housing, the road network and absence of opportunities. He believes all that is now in the past and that with the ferry in place, farmers from the islands, can also find a market for their produce.
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Namayingo District Speaker Peter Okumu says that the provision of a ferry means freedom of island dwellers to access mainland social services just like other citizens.
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Meanwhile, the UNRA head of ferry services Herbert Mutyaba says that engineers decided to set MV Sigulu afloat on the lake so as to test its’ operability and also checking out some anomalies before finally docking it in Namayingo.