MV Victoria, which ferries passengers and goods from Mwanza city to Kemondo and Bukoba ports in Kagera Region, stopped offering its service 2014 due to mechanical challenges.
After the government’s efforts of investing 22.8bn/-to rehabilitate the passenger ship on Lake Victoria, expressions of how long waited dream have come true for Kagera residents.
Kagera Region residents are now relieved by the low cost of freight for goods transported by the MV New Victoria following its arrival here on Monday after her maiden trip from Mwanza Port.
Speaking to this paper Muhamed Omar and Mwajuma Iddi, banana and avocado traders said they are now relieved by the low cost provided by the renovated ship as road transport was costly and ate much of their profits.
Muhamed Omari said in the past he used to take bananas to Mwanza and return to Bukoba with rice bus suspended the business due high transport cost.
On her part Mwajuma Iddi, resident of Bukoba said the coming of the ship will bring peace and happiness as their business activities across the Lake was severely shaken due to costly road transport.
She said a bag of avocado was charged 40,000/- by bus and if one has 6 bags then the profit is negligible.
The Ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary for Mobilization and Ideology Humphrey Polepole said for six years residents of Kagera Region had suffered for lack of reliable lake transport and added that with the coming of MV New Victoria will simplify freight transport business as the vessel can carry 200 tonnes of cargo and 1,200 passengers.
Kagera Regional Commissioner Brig Gen Marco Gaguti said residents of Kagera Region have been engaged in agriculture and fishing activities for a long time.
He said the region produces bananas among major food crop that is 64 per cent.