At least 20 dead in Uganda boat tragedy

Lake Victoria

UGANDA: At least 20 people lost their lives, and five others were reported missing after an overloaded boat capsized in the Ugandan waters of Lake Victoria.

According to the international media, the tragic incident occurred on Wednesday, as the vessel was transporting charcoal, fresh foods, and fish.

The Police officials said that the accident’s cause was attributed to overloading and adverse weather conditions. Nine passengers were rescued, and efforts were underway to locate the five missing individuals, said the officials.

Meanwhile, the relevant authorities urged the public, who travel on water, to prioritise their safety by wearing life jackets and avoiding overloading their vessels.

Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, spans a surface area of 70,000sq km (27,000sq miles), approximately the size of Ireland. It is shared by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

The Africa’s largest lake has witnessed several boat disasters over the years, often attributed to overcrowding and inclement weather.

In a similar incident in November 2018, at least 32 people lost their lives when a boat sank on Lake Victoria during bad weather, carrying over 90 revelers. Another devastating event occurred in September of the same year when the MV Nyerere passenger ferry sank on the Tanzanian side of the lake, claiming hundreds of lives.

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