Winds capsise boat, ten die in Lake Tanganyika

01Aug 2020
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Winds capsise boat, ten die in Lake Tanganyika

AT least ten people have died and 100 others rescued after the boat in which they were traveling capsised after it was hit by strong winds in Lake Tanganyika.

Kigoma Regional Police Commander (RPC), James Manyama said that the accident occurred on Thursday at around noon off Kalya ward, Uvinza District when the boat was moving from Sibwesa to Mpanda in Katavi Region.

After being hit by powerful winds, the boat lost direction, took in water and capsized. “The accident left ten people dead including six children and three women, but the majority of the passengers, around 100 people were rescued, he said.

He said that police and other security agencies are still searching to establish if there were more passengers or unaccounted for persons.

Commander Manyama urged marine vessel operators to take precautions, including postponing journeys whenever they see signs of strong winds or abnormal lake conditions.

Boat operators must adhere to passenger carriage capacity indicated for their vessels so as to avoid unnecessary accidents with overloading, he appealed.

“The public should adhere to the weather authority’s alerts. They should stop ignoring them as it is better to suspend travel whenever they feel the weather is not conducive. They should also avoid agreeing to travel in a vessel that is overloaded with passengers and cargo,” the RPC emphasised.

Reuben Mwakilima, the Uvinza District Commissioner confirmed receiving ten bodies and casualties at Kalya Health Centre.

He said that the majority of the survivors who were in good condition were treated and later discharged.

This is the second boat accident to happen within a month in Lake Tanganyika, as on June 25 at least nine people were killed and 51 injured after a boat capsized.

On July 16, the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) warned of strong winds and high waves in Lake Tanganyika. The weather forecast said strong winds and high waves were likely to disrupt fishing activities and marine transport for the following week.