Skip to main content
at the facility

New Ferry on River Semliki: Uganda Looks to Boost Trade, Security with DR Congo

"The Hema of Congo and Batuku of Uganda are kinsmen and cattle keepers who interact on daily basis. My people have been having difficulties traveling from Bunia across lake Albert to Ntoroko. Now that the ferry is here, we are going to abandon the longer and risky route," Omukama Rutahaba explained.
posted onJanuary 20, 2022
nocomment


Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is constructing a ferry on River Semuliki to ease water transport between Uganda and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to Defence.go.ug, the ferry, which is being developed at Hayibale Landing Site in Rwebisengo county, Ntoroko district -- will be operational in a few days and will carry loads not more than 35 tones and 100 passengers.

"This ferry will create a multiplier effect on security and trade between the two countries. Once the ferry is operational, movement of personnel and materials to the operational area will be shortened," Maj Gen Kayanja, the UPDF overall Commander Operation Shujja, said while inspecting the construction activities.

The Chief of Mitego kingdom Rutahaba Ibanda, who led a delegation from DRC, was overjoyed by the development.

"The Hema of Congo and Batuku of Uganda are kinsmen and cattle keepers who interact on daily basis. My people have been having difficulties traveling from Bunia across lake Albert to Ntoroko. Now that the ferry is here, we are going to abandon the longer and risky route," Omukama Rutahaba explained.

The construction of a ferry on river Semuliki comes at a time when UPDF together with FARDC are hunting Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists in Virunga and Ituri impenetrable forests in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

This operation has had the challenge of difficult terrain with steep hills, valleys, numerous rivers, and poor roads prolonging lines of communication. It is envisaged that once the ferry becomes operational, communication will be shortened which will increase the thrust to eliminate ADF from Eastern DRC.

On top of boosting water transport, Uganda and the Congo plan to construct a 223-kilometer road network that will open the Eastern part of the country to cross border trade with Uganda. 

Uganda is keen to tap the market in eastern Congo where decades of insecurity has meant local manufacturing is near non-existent and the population there depends on imports for goods ranging from textiles and construction materials to food and beverages.

DRC is Uganda's second-biggest regional trade partner after Kenya.

About Author

Kp Reporter - Chief editor

Join the conversation

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.