After the main and sole marine vessel in Kalangala was forced to halt operations due to a small ramp breakdown on Tuesday, December 5, which was brought on by an electrical malfunction, the government-owned business that runs the MV Kalangala, National Oil Distributors Limited (NODL), disclosed the information yesterday evening that MV Express Rafiki has been introduced to transport passengers to and from the island as MV Kalangala undergoes repair.
The National Oil Distributors Limited’s Superintendent of Water Transport, Sadala Musoke, states that the MV Express Rafiki is built to withstand turbulence and will assist in clearing traffic on the only operational MV Kalangala to avert a transportation emergency. MV Express Rafiki will not only ease water transport on Kalangala main island but also extend service to people with commercial dealings from other islands like Kasenyi ,Kigungu, Misunzi and Mweena.
According to Musoke, on its first day of operation, MV Express Rafiki ferried 257 people to and from the island district of Kalangala, carrying more passengers than MV Kalangala and sailing an hour faster.
The introduction of a sister ship, MV Express Rafiki, will allow the two to strategically and permanently dock and supplement each other for cargo and passengers as they operate intensively during the Christmas festivities when the majority of Kalangala dwellers are busier, while MV Kalangala undergoes subsequent repairs and awaits resumption.
The contract between the Ministry of Works and Transport and NODL stipulates the introduction of the new ship and requires NODL to offer a private ship as a backup in the event of a breakage or unfavorable sailing conditions.