Kalangala ferries once again grounded


(Posted 12th March 2017)

Kalangala Infrastructure Services has once again halted the operation of two ferries connecting the mainland with the island following another dispute with the Ugandan government over payments for services rendered. This has left hundreds of traders, locals and visitors to the island’s small tourist resorts again stranded prompting complaints from the islanders that their businesses have ground to a standstill for lack of guests and goods.
The two ferries, MV Pearl and MV Ssese are now in port as the company claims to have run out of cash after receiving no payments since October. This claim could not be independently verified but it is the second time in the recent past that ferry operations were grounded over the same complaints.It is understood that a pledge by government to pay 4.5 billion Uganda Shillings was not fulfilled resulting operations coming to a stop once more.

A local tour operator regularly sending clients to the island, tongue in cheek, then asked the question if a proposed national airline could not suffer the same fate when money dries up, grounding planes just like the two ferries are now grounded too for lack of funds. Fair question, even though of course reaching way beyond the scope of Kalangala Infrastructure Services.