What you need to know:
- Starting at 1pm Monday, MV Kalangala and MV Nodil will be transporting travellers from Nakiwogo in Entebbe to Bukakata in Masaka and vice versa.
The Ministry of Works and Transport has set up an alternative route to Masaka City via Lake Victoria.
Starting at 1pm Monday, MV Kalangala and MV NODL-Victoria will be transporting travellers from Nakiwogo in Entebbe to Bukakata in Masaka and vice versa.
This follows the closure of the Kampala-Masaka Highway after floods washed away a section of the Katonga Bridge, forcing travellers to divert at Mpigi via Sembabule to Masaka, which is a longer route.
MV Kalangala will be vying from Nakiwogo via Kalangala to Masaka, while MV NODL-Victoria will be going directly to Bukakata in Masaka. MV NODL-Victoria transports only passengers and MV Kalangala transports both passengers and cargo. They will be making only one trip a day.
Mr Sadala Musoke, the chief executive officer of Nation Oil Distributors Limited, a firm managing both vessels, said the alternative route was set up after consultations with stakeholders.
“Water transport is the safest and cheapest means of transport but many of our people don’t acknowledge that. This is an opportunity for Ugandans going to Masaka must utilise to minimise the time spent on the road since this will take them only three hours depending on the environment on the lake,” Mr Musoke said, adding that they will be charging only Shs15,000.
The manager of the MV NODL-Victoria, Ms Idah Musoke, said the maiden route has been subsidised by the government to facilitate people, who wish to use water transport to Masaka via Bukakata.
“We will be leaving Nakiwogo at 1pm and we will be arriving at Bukakata Landing Site at 4.30pm. And then on Tuesday morning, the vessel will leave early at 8am and arrive in Nakiwogo at 12.30pm. We will be doing the same for the entire week unless something comes up,” she said.
Mr Mustapha Mayamba, the vice chairperson of the Uganda Taxi Operators Federation(UTOF) welcomed the move, saying: “As taxi drivers, we shall still be in business. We will have to transport passengers to Nakiwogo as well as picking them to the city centre,” he said.