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Meet the Lady Running Refurbished MV Uhuru

  • Veronica Waruguru is the second officer manning the famous MV Uhuru, the marine vessel ferrying fuel to Port Bell in Jinja, Uganda.

    The vessel had been grounded for 15 years prior to its refurbishment in 2009. MV Uhuru was restored in a Ksh3 billion facelift that encompassed reconstruction of the Kisumu Port. 

    The MV Uhuru was built in 1965 and served countries neighbouring Lake Victoria for some time. In 2020, MV Uhuru resumed operations and Waruguru was part of the team tasked with running the vessel.

    Her duties involve navigations, preparing voyages, managing medical lockers and overseeing the loading area. 

    Veronica Waruguru, MV Uhuru's second officer.

    Veronica Waruguru, MV Uhuru’s second officer.

    Veronica Waruguru/LinkedIn

    Waruguru has a Diploma in Marine Transportation and a Certificate of Competence. 

    Her career sprouted at Dar es Salaam Maritime in 2007 where she pursued cadetship on different vessels and gained invaluable experience.

    Prior to joining MV Uhuru, Waruguru served as a second officer at Lots Shipping Ltd, a chief officer at Alba Petroleum Company and as a dock master at an African marine and engineering company. 

    “Marine vessels have not been using the lakes for over a decade. The fishermen frequently forget that there are vessels, such as ours, using specific routes and they leave their fishing nets which get entangled in the propellers.

    “The government should educate the fishermen on the safety measures to avoid inconveniences to the vessels and their fishing activities,” Waruguru spoke on one of the challenges they face daily. 

    Her colleagues lauded her for her diligence and devotion to work, stating that she dedicates herself to work from midnight to 4 a.m and at times spends extra hours on duty. 

    A photo of Ksh 3 billion Kisumu Port in Kisumu County

    A photo of Ksh 3 billion Kisumu Port in Kisumu County

    File

    “The time slot is quite demanding. You have to take care of the vessel, the cargo and be alert at all times since the crew are relying on you,” Waruguru noted stated.

    She also hoped that women would be daring enough to compete with men in her field.

    “There are challenges but with passion, anyone can advance his or her career in this field,” she advised. 

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