MV Pamba Resumes Operations After 16 Years

MV Pamba

After 16 years of being grounded in Luzira at Port Bell, Kampala Uganda, MV Pamba has been rehabilitated and resumed its operations on Lake Victoria to boost water transport across the Lake Victoria region.

Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja on Thursday February 10, 2020, re-launched the MV Pamba to recommence its functioning on the waters of Lake Victoria before the presence of other officials including the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala, Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) MD, Stanley Ssendegeya.

Nabbanja said “Water transport is one of the cheapest means if transport but has not been fully exploited in Uganda”.

She farther noted that there is a need to ensure that the new vessel is affordable for those who are wishing to use it, we need more vessels on Ugandan waters to transport Cargo and ensure that Uganda’s roads are saved from damages.

Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Katumba Wamala said MV Pamba return will boost Uganda’s capacity to handle business on Lake Victoria.

Katumba said “With MV Pamba getting to sail, we are going to increase on the tonnage we are hauling through the lake. We think that on a monthly basis, we should be able to bring in at least 21,000 tons of cargo into the country”.

Stanley Ssendegeya (URC) MD, noted that the cargo vessel can carry up to 1000 tons of cargo or one million litres of fuel per trip.

Ssendegeya said, “We charge less than half the other modes of transport in terms of prices. We will charge $20 between Mwanza and Kisu”.

The MV Pamba the only now operating cargo ferry is a government- owned vessel, operated by Uganda Railways Corporation (URC), but the ferry was leased to the Mango Tree Group who invested nearly 18bn shillings to rehabilitate the vessel that it recover and resume its operations.

In 2020, the government of Uganda signed an MOU with the Mango Tree Group to take on rehabilitation of the vessel.

About MV Pamba

The vessel was first built in 1986 by the Belgian Ship Incorporation, the vessel was built together with other vessels including MV Kawa, MV Mwanga, and MV Kabalega. The vessels are owned by the government under the management of Uganda Railway Corporation (URC).

IN 2015, MV Pamba collided with MV Kawa just few meters from Fort Bell, because the vessel had not insured it remained grounded for a period of 16years.

In 2020, the government of Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chines Company Mango Tree Group to rehabilitation and upgrade the vessel.

The ferry resumes its routes from Fort Bell to Jinja (Uganda), Kisumu (Kenya) and Mwanza (Tanzania).

The wagon ferry has a crew of 22, carrying capacity of 22 wagons, can carry up to 1000 tons per trip. The ferry take 16 trips every month.


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