Likoma islanders and communities on the shoreline of Lake Malawi are facing transport challenges following the withdrawal of MV Ilala and breakdown of MV Chilembwe.
This has compelled the cut-off populations to rely on unseaworthy boats that are risky.
The setback has disrupted businesses and access to vital services, including healthcare, banking and basic needs.
Village head Mwase of Likoma called on quick intervention and lasting solutions, saying travel has become costly and risky since the two ships vanished.
“Travelling on the lake is usually dangerous in the rainy season when storms are frequent. There is need for an end to our travel problems,” he said.
In an interview, Mota-engil spokesperson Thomas Chafunya said Malawi Shipping Company is in a tight spot because the two marine vessels need maintenance to serve the people better.
He said Ilala has to go through the routine service to operate effectively while Chilembwe is under repair.
“We deeply regret the situation. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but it is a must that Ilala undergoes service. These vessels carry people so we cannot rush to have them on the lake before they are ready,” he said. n