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Water safety in Uganda

Safety Measures

The Government has issued water transport safety measures to control accidents on the lakes. The measures include the re-introduction of mobile courts and compulsory life jackets for all those using the lakes and big rivers. The measures are also intended to control overloading of water vessels.

Challenges to ensure safety on water

  • It difficult to control the operations of open boats and their captains professionally called skippers.
  • There is no  mechanism at each landing site to control overloading.
  • There are no adeqaute trained manpower to manage the water transport subsector.
  • The government   through the Ministry of Works and Transport does not have the resources to ensure the safety measures are adhered to.
  • There is nobody on ground to check on the condition of boats or even ensure the operators do not overload their boats.
  • The skippers quite often move with one engine, inadequate fuel and at times without oars. Most boats are rarely adequately stocked with life jackets.
  • There are inadequate life jackets being used by the boats.
  • Some people who inspect the boats are not adequately trained.
  • There are no navigational points in places to show directions, so skippers rely on instinct to get to their destination.
  • Uganda lacks guidelines for building boats.

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