Uganda: Nangoma Islanders Wait for Museveni's Ferry 2 Years Later

Although presidential directives are expected to be implemented moments after they are issued, some take ages to be fulfilled.

While presiding over the 56th Independence anniversary at Kasasa grounds in Kyotera District on October 9, 2018, President Museveni promised that the government would procure a ferry to ease transport between Kasensero Landing Site in Kyotera District and Nangoma Island on Lake Victoria.

The President stated that the ferry would be procured in the Financial Year 2019/2020. However, the promised ferry was not allocated funds in the past financial year and hasn't been considered in the current one.

"I very well remember the President asking government technocrats how much money was required to procure a new ferry and they gave him the figure. He [Museveni] ordered them to include the ferry in the financial year's budget but it's unfortunate that we have not received the promised ferry up to now," Mr Charles Njuba, the vice chairperson of Kyotera District, said during an interview on Monday.

Nangoma is a remote sub-county located south of River Kagera on the Uganda - Tanzania border. On the Ugandan side, one can only access it by boat or plane.

Resident say the absence of a reliable water transport connecting Nangoma to the mainland has affected businesses in the area. Due to absence of a public ferry, travellers usually use boats overloaded with goods.

Ms Florence Nakigoye, the councillor representing Nangoma Sub-county, said people in the area find difficulty in transporting beans, maize and other food stuffs from the main land to the island.

"Sometimes we fail to attend meetings at the district, which is located almost 70km away, because we are not given risk allowances yet we travel on risky canoes," she explained.

Ms Edna Kumanya, the Nangoma Sub-county chairperson, said government seems to have forgotten the islanders because residents there currently visit hospitals in neighbouring Tanzania.

"If it can take two years to implement a presidential directive, what about other services which don't involve presidential directives?" she wondered.

Mr Allan Ssempebwa, the media relations manager at Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview that they were aware of a presidential directive and plans are underway to purchase a ferry for Nangoma Island.

However, Mr Ssempeebwa did not reveal exactly when the ferry will be procured .

Similar case

On September 10, 2016, a high magnitude earthquake destroyed more than 500 houses in Kakuuto and Kyebe sub-counties in Kyotera District.

President Museveni visited the affected villages and promised that government would give iron sheets, cement and iron bars to the affected families to enable them reconstruct their houses but this has not yet been fulfilled.

President's warning

However, during Liberation Day celebrations at Nabuyoga playgrounds in Tororo District on January 26 last year, the President cautioned Ugandans against reminding him of his unfulfilled pledges.

"You should not waste your time reminding me of what I have not done. I know my obligation. I know most of the things which I have not done for this country," he said.

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