Firm launches water bus to boost transport on Lake Victoria
Kenyan firm Globology Ltd has scaled-up the provision of waterbus passenger transport services on Lake Victoria with the launch of a water bus vessel to help reduce maritime accidents and ensure affordable transportation.
The vessel is part of the five new ferries that are being built by the firm for passenger and goods transportation across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with the support of Sh444 million from UK government. The three East Africa nations share Lake Victoria’s waters where transportation has mainly relied on old ferries and boats or canoes.
Maritime and shipping Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu and Deputy British High Commissioner Julius Court officially commissioned the vessel at the lake yesterday. The PS lauded the UK Government for the investment that will see an additional vessels launched.
Karigithu who represented Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, said the water bus services will compliment road and rail transport in the region.
The launch coincided with the 9th Edition of the Africities Summit currently going on in Kisumu City. Already, a number of delegates have booked to use the facility for tourism excursion from tomorrow.
The vessel will carry 80 passengers and will ply Luanda-Kotieno and Mbita routes on a daily basis offering cheap alternative transport.
Court expressed delight that the UK investors had done a great job in Kenya to boost maritime transport as it eyes tapping the proceeds of the blue economy.
Water bus is now eyeing setting up services in Kenya and Uganda as part of its expansion plan in the East African waters.
One of the donors to the project, Rodney Seena of Infraco Africa through which Globology obtains its funds from UK Aid said, they plan for more vessels. Seena who is a senior asset manager, said they plan to deliver five new ferries servicng five new routes by 2025 in the East African Countries. He disclosed that water bus has also developed means to cut down on carbon emissions. To this extent, they are investing $800,000 towards this.
Over the years, to transport their produce to the markets, passengers relied heavily on open wooden canoes or boats. This, Water Bus Globology Ltd CEO Friedrich Neser, said exposed those ferrying perishable goods such as fish and agricultural produce vulnerable to spoilage. – Kepher Otieno