Many stranded as strike cripples transport to and from Kalangala

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Transport to and from Kalangala District has been paralysed after a strike by ferry operators, Kalangala Infrastructure Services Limited (KIS), citing non-payment by government.

Around 700 people remain stranded while the rest are using canoes to cross the 2.5 nautical mile radius on the lake without lifesaving jackets.

The ferry operators say that government has not paid them since October, making it hard for them to fulfill their obligation. Consequently, they have decided to suspend work on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until they are paid.

Government pays KIS about Shs 3billion every quarter to operate the ferries.

In October last year, Auditor General, Mr John Muwanga asked UNRA not to remit any money to the ferry operators until their agreements are reviewed. He argued that the money given to the ferry operators in Kalangala is much higher than that used to manage more than six ferries in Uganda.

However, Kalangala District chairperson, Mr Willy Lugoloobi, says that the issues between government and the ferry operators should not be stretched to the community to the extent of affecting their needs.

“We do not need to know what agreement is there or whatever amount is required, all we need is water transport to be effective to the community,’ he said.

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