MV Kalangala still down, works ministry optimistic
Posted Wednesday, January 23 2013 at 02:00
MV Kalangala was suspended mid last week after one of its fuel pipes developed a crack and fuel was leaking onto one of the vessel’s two engines.
Much as the ministry of transport had at the end of last week said MV Kalangala would resume operations early this week, the vessel was by yesterday still down.
Last week, the transport ministry suspended its operations after one of its fuel pipes developed a crack and fuel was leaking onto one of the vessel’s two engines. This has left travellers between Entebbe and Kalangala incurring additional transportation costs between the two destinations.
But, the ministry of works is hopeful that the vessel’s services will resume before the weekend.
The breakdown of the ferry disrupted travel and business activity between Kalangala islands and the mainland.
Without MV Kalangala, there are two water transport alternatives for passengers; either to travel to Bukakata, Masaka district and board MV Pearl ferry that goes to Kalangala daily or to go to Port Bell and use the privately ran EarthWise ferry.
The average cost per person of using any of these alternatives to travel between Entebbe and Kalangala is Shs15,000.
In a telephone interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, Ms Susan Kataike, the Works ministry spokesperson acknowledged the delays but said Mantrac, the company contracted to repair the vessel was fast-tracking the repairs so that the ferry can resume operations before the weekend.
“Mantrac has today gone to Lutoboka where the vessel is. They bought spares and are fixing the damaged parts today. After fixing the vessel, they will conduct a trial run either today evening or tomorrow to ensure that it is back in good sharp,” Ms Kataike said, adding:
“We hope that both the repairs and trial will be completed by tomorrow (Wednesday) and MV Kalangala will resume operations the following day.”
Ms Kataike says it is dangerous for a vessel to operate on one engine because if it stops working while in transit, the vessel sinks.