People of Likoma have lamented the malfunctioning of Malawi’s MV Ilala soon after it was considered fit for sailing last week.
The ship is grounded after one of the two new engines developed a fault, which officials said was a factory fault. Its come back will depend on how quick the engine will be repaired or how ready the supplier will be able to give a new engine. The two engines cost the Malawi shipping Company K90 million (about $215 000).
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkumpha said the new fault has brought misery among the people who had waited for 10 months, hoping their transport woes would come to an end.
“It is very painful to wait for 10 months and later be told that the ship has malfunctioned again. Our lives are not safe on these small vessels. People travel at risk.
“It is high time government considered introducing another ship because Ilala is very old and might not be reliable. So, there have to be two vessels, when one breaks down we should be able to have a backup,” said the chief.
He also expressed concern over high cost of living in the district as a result of transport problems.
“Prices of commodities are very exorbitant here. We are now buying maize at K3 500 (about $8.33) per tin. The unfortunate part is that the maize is being supplied by vendors because we rarely have maize at the Admarc.
“We are very disappointed because we are not sure as to how long we will have to wait again because last time we were told it will be ready by this time, but days passed before it started sailing,” said Mkumpha.