Musana Ferry

Enabling children to get to their island school from around Lake Bunyonyi with a solar ferry

Bunyonyi Secondary School was setup on a small island in the middle of the Lake Bunyonyi in Southern Uganda to leverage buildings from an outdated leprosy isolation camp. While school on an island sounds idyllic, it does create a barrier for many potential students to even reach school.

What is the problem?

Getting to school from around the lake requires boats that are

1. Scarce ( there is just not enough boats)

2. Very slow (the typical dugouts weight 1t)

3. Expensive (fare for motor boats are high)

The solution: Musana Ferry

Musana is the word for sunshine in one of the local languages. We want to design and build a solar ferry that can transport all students to and from school for free, powered by the sun. Designed by students from the University in Emden/Germany and built locally.

The ferry will be owned by the Lake Bunyonyi Secondary School and can support the community with transportation across the lake during school. It can be used as an emergency boat to bring patients to the hospital on the island as well.

What else?

In addition, we will support the local school association with multiple other projects, like providing food for the students at the school, purchase books and school supplies, improve internet access or invest in stabilizing energy production.

Energy: Solar/Batteries exist, but not enough to provide consistent energy needs of the school, i.e. to run multiple PCs or Laptops at the same time. Thus there is a need to diversify energy production to ensure enough energy also during changing weather patterns

Internet Acces/ Wifi: The island only has 2x3G + moderns and no Wifi network yet to also support mobile phones and tablets.

Science Labratory: Equipment to teach is very limited and could need many additions

Achieving the goals

These are the steps we will take to realize this goal:

1. Design ferry concept by involving University students for boat construction with these requirements

2. Find parts in Uganda (or other sources)

3. Find engineer to oversee construction

4. Complete assembly of ferry by the students from the school

5. Define schedule and routes

Lake Bunyonyi Secondary School

The Lake Bunyonyi Secondary School is the main recipient of all the donations you are willing to give to the cause.

The following facts show why this school is so special and in need of our help

Science Focus

The School mainly focuses on the sciences. Biology, Chemistry and Computer Science are only some of the topics the students discuss in class. We want to encourage this enthusiasm for the sciences by helping the school with their funding.

Boarding School

About 200 students are part of the school's boarding school. With that, the students save their travel to school. Of course not everybody is able to get a place in the boarding school. This once again underlines the need for the solar ferry.


19 teachers are currently employed at the school. The school's goal is to educate resourceful change agents for the community!

How did we get involved?

Another project in Uganda to fund a house for an "SOS Children's Village" in Fort Portal let us to Lake Bunyonyi and it was decided that the next purpose for our social engagement was right there.



This equitorial country in the midst of Africa mixes breath-taking beauty with severe economic difficulties. It still ranks as one of the poorest nations in the world. Uganda is dominated by poverty in agricultural areas, but has also shown economic growth in recent years. Many lakes and the Nile basin dominate large portions of the geography. The southern part of the country includes a huge portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania. The people from Uganda are very friendly, but they like to keep their distance. Uganda is safe to travel, at least in the southern part.

Lake Bunyonyi and Bwarma Islands

Lake Bunyonyi is located in the south west of Uganda, of volcanic origin and one of the deepest lakes in Africa. The lake is at an altitude of 2000m and thus practically without mosqitos and malaria. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the deepest lakes in Africa (up to 900m) and consists of 29 islands

Bwarma Islands sits right in the middle of Lake Bunyonyi and has a history as a leprosy isolation camp that now serves as a school. It stretches about 1000m and 800m. During leproscy crisis in 1930s, Dr. Leonard Sharp isolated and treated infected people on the island. Dr. Sharp build a hospital, a church and small houses.