Works Ministry Wants Free Ferry Services Scrapped

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In short
He disclosed this while appearing before the Physical Infrastructure Committee of parliament, which is reviewing the National Budget Framework Paper for the 2014/2015 financial year. Government procured several ferries so as to improve transport to areas accessible by water transport.

 The works and transport ministry wants free passenger free services scrapped. Abraham Byandala, the works and transport minister says it is increasingly becoming difficult for government to run ferry services, which calls for cost sharing between government and passengers.

He disclosed this while appearing before the Physical Infrastructure Committee of parliament, which is reviewing the National Budget Framework Paper for the 2014/2015 financial year. Government procured several ferries so as to improve transport to areas accessible by water transport. According to the arrangement, government would provide fuel and service the ferries through the works and transport ministry.

This was based on the fact that island communities do not receive funds for roads and that by facilitating them with free transport, government would indirectly ensure equitable resource allocation. Byandala says they are finding it hard to provide free services as earlier anticipated and wants parliament to draft a policy, which will see travelers meet part of the cost.

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Dan Alinange, the spokesperson Uganda National Roads Authority says there are eight ferries and that cost government between 3 to 6billion shillings on average annually. He says the Bukakata ferry which plies the Kalangala route and the one on Nakasongola to Namasale  are the biggest, these he said cost government 6billion shillings each year.

He explained that the money is used to fuel the ferries and cover other operational costs. Alinange says the smallest ferries cost government 3 billion shillings each. These operate between Kiyindi to Buvuma, Mpigi to Entebbe, kayunga to Mbulambuti, Masindi to Marchsion falls and the Laropi ferry in West Nile.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.