Ports – whether maritime, inland or river ports – are important pieces of infrastructure that serve a wide range of customers including freight shippers, ferry operators and private boats.
Ports facilitate domestic and international trade of goods, often on a large scale.
Inland ports can also play important transport roles within countries ferrying heavy or bulky goods where alternative ways of transport are more costly.
Much as government plans to build Bukasa inland port, there are budget constraints.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Mr Bageya Waiswa told Daily Monitor in a brief interview recently that work at the Bukasa port is ongoing.
So far, Mr Bageya said they are making funding arrangements for project affected people.
“The funds for the project affected people in form of compensation will come next financial year,” he said.
But Mr Bageya said Shs29 billion is needed. However, “we shall start with Shs20 billion from next financial year to 2020/21,” he said.
A few years back, government hired a consultant to carry out studies on Bukasa – the port that will develop and improve cargo transportation to and from Uganda via Lake Victoria.
Mr Jochen Scherer said government’s aim of developing Bukasa Port, is to, provide an efficient and reliable alternative route to the sea for Uganda, support the efficient movement of goods and cargo and reduce costs of doing business.
“It will also establish a central logistics hub connecting the Northern and Central Corridors for intercontinental and East African inter-state trade,” Mr Scherer said.
“General Concept for LV Ports in Uganda 4, Bukasa Port Project aims at a comprehensive system for ports near Kampala. Ports to complement and strengthen each other. Bukasa Port, in cooperation with Port Bell, will support economic growth in: Kampala Metropolitan Area and developments all over Uganda,” Mr Scherer said.
He further cited Jinja district as a considerable economic area which can benefit from a redefinition of its water-bound infrastructure fields of activity Bukasa port.
The study indicates that the cargo is to be carried by Lake Navigation (Ship), port railways (Rail) and road transport (Road) and as such Bukasa port is to be developed as a multimodal port.
Cargo Flow Forecast
Step I: 2020 Bukasa Port would be handling 2.4 million tonnes cargo, 2025: 3.1 million tonnes,
Step II: 2030: 6.1 million tonnes 2035: 7.8 million tons 2040: 9.5 million tonnes.