Dt.4th August, 2023
Twenty people lost their lives after a tragic incident on Lake Victoria in Uganda. The boat they were on capsized on Wednesday morning, leading to a rescue operation by local residents and authorities to find survivors.
According to the Uganda police force, 20 people have been confirmed dead, and 9 others have been rescued so far. The boat was carrying charcoal, fresh food, and fish when the accident occurred at around 5:00 am.
The police attributed the cause of the accident to overloading and bad weather. They believed that about 34 people were on board when the tragedy happened. As a precautionary measure, they urged the public to always wear life jackets and avoid overloading vessels when traveling on water.
Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, has seen numerous boat disasters in the past. Overcrowding and poor weather conditions are often blamed for these accidents. In one previous incident in November 2018, 32 people died when a pleasure boat sank due to bad weather and overcrowding.
Lake Victoria has a surface area similar to the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. Unfortunately, such accidents are not uncommon on the lake, and fatalities are high due to the lack of life jackets and limited swimming skills among the passengers.
Boats are a primary means of transportation in many parts of Africa’s Great Lakes region, and they are often overcrowded and poorly maintained, making accidents more likely. Similar incidents have also occurred on Lake Albert, which serves as the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For example, in December 2020, at least 26 people lost their lives when their boat sank on Lake Albert due to bad weather.