Over 10 feared dead in Lake Victoria

THIRTEEN people are feared dead after two canoes they were sailing in capsized in Lake Victoria at Muchigondo village, at Igundu Ward in Bunda District.

Unveiling the scene to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, Bunda District Commissioner, Dr Vicent Naano said that the victims were on their way back from church, when they got into the tragedy.

He noted that out of the13 missing people, the body of a child who is suspected to be a year-old has been recovered.

In the incident, 14 others have been rescued as the rescue operations were ongoing.

“The incident occurred on Sunday at around 6:30pm when a section of believers from the Mennonite Church of Tanzania (KMT) were crossing the lake on their way back from church and on the course, one of the canoes experienced a leakage,” said Dr Naano.

Describing the incident further, the DC said on realising that their colleagues were in danger, the other canoe was forced to make a U-turn to offer rescue only for people from the troubled boat to scurry out for help.

He added: “With everyone competing for space into the safe canoe, it became overloaded and had to drown. We are doing all we can to ensure all the missing people are rescued.”

Contacted for comments, the Fire and Rescue Force Commander in Mara Region, Agostino Magere could not establish the exact number of casualties, saying he was still on the way to the accident scene.

He added: “I’ll give an official statement upon arrival at the scene.”

Last year, some two fishermen died and two others were rescued at Bunyorwa in Busega District, Simiyu Region after their canoe capsized in Lake Victoria.

According to a statement released by the Simiyu Regional Police Commander ACP Bladius Chatanda, the accident occurred on September 18, 2022 around 8pm, when the two were fishing.

He named the deceased as Ntambi Swilila (32) and Deus Ntandila (56).

Explaining the source of the accident, ACP Chatanda said: “They were drowned after their vessel was hit by a strong wind before it capsized.”

He added that their bodies were discovered on September 20, 2022 afternoon.

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