It is now confirmed that Malawi’s sole passenger ferry MV IIlala resumes her operations on Southern part of Lake Malawi this week after a halt due to frequent breakdowns and business slowdowns.
Ilala, the sole passenger and light cargo ship in Malawi is 52 meters long, and has a gross tonnage of 620. She has capacity to accommodate up to 365 passengers and 100 tons of cargo, but her efficiency is increasingly coming into question as it life span narrows.
Ilala begun sailing on the waters of Lake Malawi in 1951 and has been on the operating over the period, except for when under maintenance.
In the past, the ship used to reach further north to Karonga and as far as northern cost of the lake near Tanzania but due to frequent break downs and reduction in both cargo and passenger business, routes were revised.
Recently, the route to the southern tip of the lake was suspended, but according to Mota Engil which operates the ship, the route has since been restored following a pick in business and numerous complaints from passengers.
Mota Engil shipping advisor Austin Msowoya said there is a boom in the tourism industry in the South which made the company to revise its operations.
“Ilala is back on track. She was not operating from Monkey because she was moved to Nkhatabay but after receiving complaints from the tourism industry, the company had to do so to honor the wish,” said Msowoya.
Mr. Msowoya, said there are high chances that the Southern Mw route will be sustained because of the growing business demand.