The Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA has announced the temporary suspension of ferry services at Kazinga Channel in Katunguru. Towards the end of June this year, UNRA started providing ferry services across the channel following the temporary closure of Kazinga Channel Bridge along Kasese-Rubirizi road for emergency rehabilitation works.
But since last weekend, the ferry developed technical glitches causing delays for those crossing between Mbarara and Kasese districts. UNRA spokesperson, Allan Ssempebwa, says that ferry services will be suspended on Thursday and Friday this week to allow the routine repair and maintenance services.
According to the circular issued by UNRA on Tuesday, they have asked drivers and all other travellers to use alternative routes to connect between the two districts. The authority says rehabilitation works on the bridge is expected to be completed by end of September.
But Moses Illa, a taxi conductor appeals for a second ferry to ease their movement. He predicts that the two days’ diversion will greatly impact the transport business with either traveller halting their movements or rejecting the revised transport fares on the alternative routes.
Abdu Ogwanga, a driver on Kasese-Mbarara road, says that a single small ferry cannot sustainably handle the volume of vehicles and people that cross through Katunguru. He says their prayer for an additional ferry was not listened to by UNRA when the government lifted the inter-district movement ban.
But Ssempebwa says that they are currently constrained and unable to put out another ferry.