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Tuesday, 20th September, 2011 The works and transport ministry and the Marine Police have started a joint sensitisation campaign on inland water transport safety. The campaign is aimed at improving safety, security and compliance with the marine laws, Michael Walwanga, the Marine Police deputy commandant, said. Before a boat is licensed, it must be inspected for minimum seaworthiness requirements. Walwanga warned operators that illegal boats would be impounded and the owners prosecuted. He was speaking during during a sensitisation workshop on inland water transport at the Ggaba landing site in Makindye division on Friday. Walwanga also noted that waragi drinking among boat operators and passengers, and overloading were becoming safety hazards on Uganda’s waters. He warned operators to stop the vices or be prosecuted. Meanwhile, the shortage of timber species that were traditionally used in building boats, is forcing the unscrupulous builders to use poor timber, compromising safety. "Many boat builders are not professional in this field and, hence build substandard boats that put the lives of passengers at risk," said Peter Odiria from the Fisheries Training Institute. By Samuel Balagadde: The New Vision Newspaper
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