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Njeru Residents Opt for Water Transport to Beat the Inter-District Travel Ban

The residents, most of them casual labourers and market vendors say that security teams are demanding national and work identity cards, from every person who intends to cross the Nile bridge, yet many of them do not have documents and do not belong to the category of essential workers who are allowed to cross the district boundary.
Some of the passengers.

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Dozens of residents from Njeru municipality have resorted to water transport to cross into Jinja city, following the 42-day inter-district travel ban intended to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The residents, most of them casual labourers and market vendors say that security teams are demanding national and work identity cards, from every person who intends to cross the Nile bridge, yet many of them do not have documents and do not belong to the category of essential workers who are allowed to cross the district boundary.

Also, security teams are said to be clearing pedestrians to cross the bridge at around 10:00 am, which affects their daily work schedules. They have now improvised to cross to the other side using boats across the River Nile from Njeru, in Buikwe district to Jinja.

Doreen Mutyabule, one of the residents says that she is expected to report at the factory premises by 8:00 am. However, even with the explanation, the security team blocked her access, forcing her to opt for a boat in order to save her job since there are no patrols on the water bodies.

Phoebe Mirembe, a market vendor says that transport fares for them have doubled because now they have to spend up to 8,000 instead of the 4,000 Shillings that they usually spend on transport from Kikondo or Tongolo landing sites in Buikwe district to Jinja city’s Rippon falls landing site.

Abdul Ntege, a resident of Namwezi zone says that people in the area rely on Jinja city for healthcare services. However, right now, they can hardly cross the bridge, yet those who do are paraded at the different checkpoints along the bridge where their details are read out loudly for questioning before they are allowed to cross.

//Cue in; “eno teliyo…

ue out…ku’Jinja.”//

Ibrahim Wanjala, a boat owner says that they have reduced passenger numbers from 20 to six, to ensure that they are not congested. Wanjala however, says that they face a challenge of oppression from soldiers attached to the fisheries protection unit-FPU, who often grab fish products from passengers under suspicious circumstances.

//Cue in; “twabadde…

Cue out…oba tebisana.”//   

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