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Photo: Presidencia da Republica de Moçambique via Facebook
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday inaugurated a new ferry boat that will operate between central Maputo and the island of Inyaka.
The boat, named “Kanyaka”, cost 2.7 million US dollars and was acquired in Greece. It has the capacity to carry 156 passengers, and five tonnes of cargo, including one vehicle. The boat, built in 2008, has a top speed of 14 knots (26 kilometres an hour).
With the “Kanyaka” the trip from Maputo to Inyaka now takes one hour and 45 minutes, compared with two and a half hours on the previous ferry, which could only carry 70 passengers.
The islanders requested a new ferry when Nyusi visited Inyaka in 2016, and he has now kept his promise to them.
The new ferry service, the President said, would overcome the common perception that Inyaka “is too far away”.
Poor transport links, he added, had made life on the island more expensive, and led to shortages in basic goods that must be shipped in from Maputo. The isolation of Inyaka also inhibited its tourism potential.
Nyusi said he was sure that the new ferry “will not only reduce the suffering of the islanders, but will help improve the business environment in this part of the country”. It was important, he added, to guarantee safety and comfort for the 6,000 inhabitants of Inyaka who regularly travel to and from central Maputo.
The boat will ensure regular supplies of basic goods, and of medicines, and would reduce the time needed to take people who fall ill on Inyaka to Maputo hospitals.
“The island has a strong tourist potential”, said the President, “and Mozambican and foreign tourists can now visit in less time and with greater comfort. The 12,000 species of the marine ecosystem can be a source for ecotourism”.
The “Kanyaka” will initially operate four days a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays), but, depending on the demand, it can increase the frequency of its services.
The ferry is operated by the company Transmaritima, and Nyusi urged the company’s managers to design package trips for tourists visiting the island. The sustainability of the ferry service “will depend on your management capacity”, he said. “We don’t want it to become another burden on the government”.
Nyusi insisted that the maximum capacity of the “Kanyaka” must be respected, and the crew and passengers alike must cooperate to avoid any loss of human life or damage to the vessel. He called for “zero tolerance” for any violation of maritime safety rules, and strict compliance with the maintenance calendar.Source: AIM