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Saturday,July 11,2020 01:04 AM

Seven bodies recovered from Lake Albert

By Ismael Kasooha

Added 5th November 2019 06:43 PM

The dead were identified as Patience Ayela, Felix Bwambale, Franciase Ayenya, Abel Nyeke, Sarah Birungi, and Sarah Alisita.

Seven bodies recovered from Lake Albert

The dead were identified as Patience Ayela, Felix Bwambale, Franciase Ayenya, Abel Nyeke, Sarah Birungi, and Sarah Alisita.

 Bodies of the deceased in a boat after they were recovered from the lake. PHOTO: Ismael Kasooha
 
Seven bodies have so far been retrieved from Lake Albert following the boat accident that happened on Monday morning.
 
Raphael Oumo, who is in charge of Sebagoro detach in Kikuube district told New Vision that the Police in conjunction with the local fishermen have been searching for bodies and possible survivors since the accident occurred.
 
Oumo identified the dead as Patience Ayela, Felix Bwambale, Franciase Ayenya, Abel Nyeke, Sarah Birungi, and Sarah Alisita.
 
The body of Atana Umirambe was retrieved on Monday and taken to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday.
 
Ouma said the search is still on because there are other people who are still missing but chances of getting survivors are waning.
 
The bodies were handed over to relatives for burial at Kitebere landing site in Kagadi district.
 
Ouma attributed the accident to heavy water waves that hit the boat coupled with a lack of life jackets by all the occupants.
 
"If people sailing on the water make it a habit to put on life-saving jackets, we hope accidents will reduce on the waters," said Ouma.
 
Peter Okuti, a fisherman told New Vision that on Monday morning he had gone fishing and heard people crying out for help at Rukwanzi some seven kilometers from Kyomya landing site in the Democratic Republic of Condo.
 
Okuti said that he used his boat to rescue six people but also informed others to come to the aid of the people.
 
"I had gone to do fishing as usual but heard people crying for help and when I reached the scene, many people were helpless," said Okuti.
 
He said the boat was overloaded and the strong waves aggravated the situation leading to the capsizing of the boat.
 
There are reports that when the boat was hit by strong water waves it fell into a fishing net and there was no way the people could help themselves out.
 
A relative to one of the deceased Masereka Matimpa said that his brother Bwambale (late) set off from home at 1:00 am to go and board the boat to transport fish to DR Congo but only to be told they had been involved in the accident.
 
Oscar Chunyai, the LC III chairman Ndaiga appealed to the government to come to their aid by providing free life-saving jackets if such scenarios are to be avoided in the future.
 
"Our people cannot afford to buy life jackets so the government should provide these live jackets if such accidents are to be minimized on our waters," said Chunyai.
 
John Opar, a fisherman at Kitebere landing site said that all these incidents are a result of those supposed to enforce the law on the waters who have decided to only get money and leave the boats to load anyhow.
 
"These incidents are due to corruption and bribery of the people supposed to implement the laws," said Opar.
 
The district police commander Kagadi Romeo Ojara told New Vision that some people are still missing and the search is still on.
 
Ojara identified the missing persons as Sarah Bolese, Shifa Shatala, and Koladine Janet all female adults from DR Congo.
 
However, the correct number of people who were aboard the boat at the time accident is not clear with others claiming it was more than 30 while others say they were 21.
 
Livingstone Akugizibwe, the Ndaiga sub-county district councilor told New Vision that preliminary information revealed that the boat was loaded with 21 people and took off from Kitebere landing site in Kagadi district at around 2:00 am on Monday and it capsized at around 4:00 am approaching Kasenyi landing site in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
"You know when an accident occurs you get conflicting reports but now we have the real number of survivors and those feared dead," said Akugizibwe.
 
Some of the survivors have been identified Kotu Olinda, 25, Abdurazak Mubya 35, Patience Owekinyinga 23, Omaka Wathum 27, Victor Owonda 18, Pastor Kiiza 38, Parmu Pyer 24, Ibrahim Omirambe and a 22-year-old only identified as Birungi.
 
Reports indicate that there was the first boat loaded with fish which landed safely but the second one which had people and fish was met strong water waves.
 
Akugizibwe said that the sub-county council passed a resolution banning all night sailing on the waters of Lake Albert but marine police and other security agencies have not implemented it.
 
"The public should stop sailing at night because it becomes difficult to save people in case of an accident and it's also a security threat," said Akugizibwe.
 
All the occupants of the boat were business people who were going to Congo to either sell fish or buy merchandise to bring to Kitebere and other landing sites.
 
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