Boat sinks in Lake Victoria
Another lake disaster strikes in Uganda
UGANDA (eTN) - Reports have reached Kampala that another lake boat has sunk in a storm in Lake Victoria on Friday night. Figures are conflicting as to the number of passengers onboard the ill-fated vessel.
Some media reports peg the numbers on the boat to as many as 60, while official sources are claiming there were only 14 on board. The latter, however, has been immediately questioned, as already 14 bodies have been recovered and 2 sole survivors having been rescued from the waters, staying afloat by clinging onto empty jerricans.
In spite of serious efforts in recent years to have free life jackets distributed by organizations promoting safety measures when traveling on the lakes in Uganda, and generally greater inspections and better enforcement by authorities in regard of overloading of boats with cargo and passengers, there always seems to be cases where one or the other slip through this net and manage to sail, at times meeting their fate when running into a sudden storm.
According to media reports now emerging in Kampala, the boat was en route from Senyi/Buikwe to Luwelo/Buvuma after nightfall and then encountered a major thunderstorm, likely capsizing the vessel suddenly without passengers having an opportunity to prepare themselves when thrown overboard.
This is the latest in a long series of lake disasters involving traditional lake canoes, mainly recorded from Lake Victoria and Lake Albert, both of which are notorious for developing sudden storms for which ill-trained boatmen in often massively-overloaded vessels have no answers. Condolences are extended to the families and friends of those who perished and the others still missing.