Ilala users concerned as operations are suspended in Likoma

MV Chilembwe Malawi

Water transport users in Likoma have expressed concern over the suspension of MV Ilala operations on Lake Malawi as it has to go for refit programme in Monkey Bay.

Speaking in an interview Thursday, Director of Finance for Likoma District Council, Wilson Muziya said the suspension of the vessel will affect the council’s operations and transportation on the lake.

“Much as I appreciate that MV Ilala should go for service, transportation as well as our operations will be affected regardless that MV Chilembwe vessel will replace MV Ilala. Almost 30 percent of our work is beinh done at the mainland. MV Ilala is the most reliable transport,” said Muziya.

A business woman of Likoma, Ireen Mdewa, who is a fish seller, said her business will be affected in the absence of MV Ilala since MV Chilembwe capacity and space is limited to cater for large quantities of goods.

She said that she stands risking losing her fish if she uses other vessels apart from MV Ilala as her merchandise can easily be destroyed due to limited space.

Confirming the development, Spokesperson for Mota- Engil Malawi, Thomas Chafunya said the vessel will undergo refit programme which he said is a normal routine.

According to Chafunya, MV Chilembwe is expected to replace MV Ilala’s schedule effective this week.

Reported by Ireen Mseteka