MV Umoja

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
malformed flag image
Name: MV Umoja
Port of registry: Kisumu
Route: on Lake Victoria between Jinja, Mwanza, Musoma & Kisumu[1]
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders[1]
Yard number: 2242[1]
Launched: 1965[1]
In service: 1966[2]
Fate: Transferred to Tanzania
Name: MV Umoja
Operator: Marine Services Company Limited
Port of registry: Mwanza
Acquired: 1977
Status: in service
General characteristics
Type: train ferry[1]
Length: 91.75 m (301 ft)[3]
Beam: 16.5 m (54.1 ft)[3]
Draught: 3.96 m (13 ft)[3]
Installed power: 800 hp (600 kW) V-8[2] diesel[1]
Propulsion: screw[1]

MV Umoja is a Lake Victoria ferry in East Africa. She is a train ferry that Marine Services Company Limited of Mwanza, Tanzania[3] operates between Jinja, Mwanza, Musoma and Kisumu.[1] Umoja means "unity" in Swahili. She has been involved in several accidents and is featured in a book by Paul Theroux.


Umoja and her sister ship MV Uhuru were built in 1965 by Yarrow Shipbuilders in Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland,[1][4] and entered service in 1966.[2] At over 300 ft (91 m), they were the longest vessels on any of the East African lakes.[2]

The two vessels were owned and operated by the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation (EARH) until 1977, when EARH was divided between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Uhuru was transferred to the new Kenya Railways Corporation[1] and Umoja was transferred to the new Tanzania Railways Corporation.[4]

Umoja struck rocks in 1990, 1996, and 2002.[citation needed] The 2002 accident caused $160,000 worth of damage.[citation needed]

In 1997 TRC's inland shipping division became a separate company, the Marine Services Company Ltd.[5]

In his book Dark Star Safari, Paul Theroux gives an account of a journey on Lake Victoria aboard Umoja, detailing the hazards from out-of-date charts and emphasising the friendliness and competence of the crew.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cameron, Stuart (2004). "Umoja (1965)". Clyde-built Database. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan; Matheson, Alastair (1986). Railway Across The Equator: The Story of the East African Line. London: The Bodley Head. pp. 140–143. ISBN 0-370-30774-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "MV. Umoja". Vessels. Marine Services Company Limited. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Cameron, Stuart (2004). "Uhuru (1965)". Clyde-built Database. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  5. ^ "Home". Marine Services Company Limited. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Theroux, Paul (2003). Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. not cited. ISBN 0-618-13424-7.