Fire and Rescue force warns of strong winds on Lake Victoria

KAGERA: THE Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force Kagera Regional Officer-in charge Senior Assistant Commissioner (SACF), Zabron Muhumha has warned fishermen conducting fishing business and parents not to allow their children to go alone swimming along Lake Victoria to avoid drowning following high winds.

” Fishermen conducting fishing activities along Lake Victoria should be careful   following strong winds. Parents, on the other hand, should not allow their children to go alone on the Lake to avoid drowning,” he said.

He issued the warning yesterday following an incident where an unidentified boy aged between 12-15 years was confirmed to have drowned while swimming along Nyamkazicamp, in Bukoba Municipal’s Miembeni ward.

SACF Muhumha explained that the incident happened on Thursday afternoon when two boys (names withheld) went on the lake for swimming. “While swimming one of the boys was swept away by high winds. However, his body was recovered yesterday (Friday) morning and it has been preserved at the Bukoba Regional Referral hospital.

He explained that this was a third incident to occur within a spell of three months adding that the high winds would continue until next month thus a need for residents who depend on the Lake Victoria for their livelihoods to take necessary precautions.

Last week, a canoe boat that was carrying 24 passengers capsized while plying between Kerebe island in Muleba district. One person was reported missing, three sustained injuries while 20 others were rescued, he said.

Also, a 17-year-old youth resident of Bukoba Municipal’s Hamugembe ward drowned while swimming on the Lake. His body was later recovered.

SACP Muhumha also tasked boat owners and operators to ensure that passengers wear safety jackets and should have a manifest of all the passengers.

A few weeks ago, two fishermen went missing at Bukoba DC’s Malehe camp following heavy rain accompanied by high winds. 30 houses were also unroofed by high winds including a church owned by the Catholic diocese and a Red Cross office.

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