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MV Kaawa brings new hope to traders

Business

MV Kaawa brings new hope to traders

Business is set to gain momentum along the Southern corridor through Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania following the recomissioning of MV Kaawa, calling for serious safety measures in a bid to void mistakes that led to its collapse 7 years ago.

“It is our hope that this asset will breathe new life in trading activities along the southern corridor and the challenge now rests on you the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) to put it to the best use and to ensure its safety and longevity” Byandala said promising that repairs will soon start on MV Pamba which has also been out of use for the same period.

He said the financial costs of the repairs of Pamba will be covered by the government in the next financial year as part of government agenda to consolidate water transport. 

Reacting to Byandala’s comments, Rift Valley Railways Vice Chairman Charles Mbire, pledged stricter safety precautions and high care handling for the refurbished vessel although he warned that it may not be put to strenuous tasks too soon until a given period he did not mention as part of their safety precautions.

“We can’t front a person who has been sick for seven years to compete in a marathon just one day after recovery, ” Mbire warned.

The revival of MV Kaawa is a big leap towards achieving one of Uganda’s dreams in the transport and Telecommunications sector.

President Museveni has since the 1990s advocated for an alternative route to the Indian Ocean via the port of Des es salaam, a call that recently got public approval during Kenya’s post election violence which saw Uganda’s oil prices sky rocket due to a protracted failure to import fuel through Mombasa port.

“One of my first assignments immediately after  being appointed the works and transport minister, I travelled to Tanzania and held talks with my counterpart on how to finalise efforts to operationalise the route linking Uganda to the Indian ocean via Dar es salaam. I am happy that our efforts are beginning to bear fruits,” Byandala said 

The wagon ferry got grounded following a tragic collision with its sister vessel MV Pamba 7 years ago.

The repairs started in November 2011 by the Southern Engineering Company based in Mombasa with funding from the World Bank to the tune of US $ 3.75 under the Facilitation of East African trade and Transport project.

However according to RVR’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brown M.M Ondengo, contract was completed six months behind schedule due to procurement delays.

MV Kaawa brings new hope to traders
September 2012

Business is set to gain momentum along the Southern corridor through Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania following the recomissioning MV Kaawa, Uganda’s railway wagon ferry which had been forced out of service seven years ago.

“This achievement means a lot not only for Uganda but also for the entire East African region since it is going to act as catalyst for revived trading activities along the southern corridor,” the commissioner of trade at Uganda revenue Authority Richard Kamajugo told The Sunrise in an exclusive interview shortly after the re-commissioning of the ferry.

He added: “It is now a clearly widened avenue for more exports and more imports between the two countries Uganda and Tanzania which are directly sharing the route and in this way it will make  business sense for our revenue collecting bodies to run and sustain our offices on both sides of the route.”

Handing over the vessel to the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) officials who are now its new managers, Works Minister Abraham Byandala asked RVR to put the vessel to the best use as an avenue to boost trade in the region, calling for serious safety measures in a bid to void mistakes that led to its collapse 7 years ago.

“It is our hope that this asset will breathe new life in trading activities along the southern corridor and the challenge now rests on you the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) to put it to the best use and to ensure its safety and longevity” Byandala said promising that repairs will soon start on MV Pamba which has also been out of use for the same period.

He said the financial costs of the repairs of Pamba will be covered by the government in the next financial year as part of government agenda to consolidate water transport.  

Reacting to Byandala’s comments, Rift Valley Railways Vice Chairman Charles Mbire, pledged stricter safety precautions and high care handling for the refurbished vessel although he warned that it may not be put to strenuous tasks too soon until a given period he did not mention as part of their safety precautions.

“We can’t front a person who has been sick for seven years to compete in a marathon just one day after recovery, ” Mbire warned.

The revival of MV Kaawa is a big leap towards achieving one of Uganda’s dreams in the transport and Telecommunications sector.

President Museveni has since the 1990s advocated for an alternative route to the Indian Ocean via the port of Des es salaam, a call that recently got public approval during Kenya’s post election violence which saw Uganda’s oil prices sky rocket due to a protracted failure to import fuel through Mombasa port.

“One of my first assignments immediately after  being appointed the works and transport minister, I travelled to Tanzania and held talks with my counterpart on how to finalise efforts to operationalise the route linking Uganda to the Indian ocean via Dar es salaam. I am happy that our efforts are beginning to bear fruits,” Byandala said  

The wagon ferry got grounded following a tragic collision with its sister vessel MV Pamba 7 years ago.

The repairs started in November 2011 by the Southern Engineering Company based in Mombasa with funding from the World Bank to the tune of US $ 3.75 under the Facilitation of East African trade and Transport project.

However according to RVR’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brown M.M Ondengo, contract was completed six months behind schedule due to procurement delays.

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