By Ben ssebuguzi
9th October of every year is a special day to Ugandans, it is the day we attained our independence and became a republic in 1962.One of the challenges the colonialist left us with is lack of efficient transport systems to enable trade and economic development. Our marine transport on Lake Victoria is one of the areas that we should celebrate.
Recently, I happened to have travelled to the islands of lake Victoria,and one or two things that made my journey interesting and joyful, was the MV Pearl which plies from Bukakata to Bugala island.
The ferry is very neat, and the appearance alone gives confidence to travelers before you’re ushered in by hospitable workforce who makes safety to customers a priority. After reading their brand I confirmed that Kalangala Infrastructural services (KIS) is the company that operates both feries; MV Ssese and MV Pearl which make 8 trips a day each with a capacity of 206 people and 16 cars and each trip takes only 30 minutes crossing between the mainland and the island. This has brought services closer as people can easily cross over to Masaka regional referral hospital for better health services.
KIS becomes a beckoning hope to the Kalangala people as they not only provide marine services but they also light up the islands with powerful solar grid and those who have traveled to Kalangala can be good witnesses. On top of that, they have also upgraded 67km dirt road to class B gravel plus providing clean water to the community hence making the islands very attractive to local and foreign tourists because the ferry easily links them to good and affordable hotels that side.
This excellent service on Lake Victoria elevates KIS Company as one of the most successful Public Private partnerships in Uganda. I therefore encourage all Ugandans to use this opportunity to get to know about their mother country by travelling on one of the biggest fresh water bodies on the continent hence promoting local tourism.
Ben Ssebuguzi is Team Leader- Youth power research Uganda & Secretary General Uganda Poor Youth Movement