Barges at a port in Mingkaman, Awerial County, Lakes State | Credit | Anyar Kuol/TRC
The Secretary General of the Boat Union in Bor says they have started screening out boats that leak and those with weak engines following complaints from the passengers.
“The passengers are our source of business’ success, and we cannot ignore their voices,” said Elijah Thong-Bor.
Recently, passengers raised complaints about leaking barges and those with weak engines that stop in the middle of the river, causing delays and risks of sinking.
Due to the compalints, Thongbor said they would no longer allow faulty barges to ferry goods and people across the Nile River.
“The step we have taken now is to identify boats that leak and ground them. We are also working with the police to ensure that the owners have them repaired before they are returned to the river,” he told Mingkaman FM.
Barges are the main means of transport between Awerial County of Lakes State and Bor in Jonglei State. They ferry people, market commodities, and livestock.
Similar faultiness in barges have led to deaths, injuries, and loss of property.
In 2017, a boat carrying over 50 passengers from Bor to Mingkaman hit the dock after the engine stopped while trying to land. This resulted in the death of six people after it sunk.