COMPLACENCY BLAMED FOR ANOTHER TRAGIC LAKE ACCIDENT
(Posted 21st September 2018)
(File photo of MV Nyerere)
Another marine disaster has struck Tanzania when the ferry MV Nyerere sunk enroute from Ukara Island to the town of Bugolora.
The ferry reportedly capsized and at news in speak of at least 37 dead with many other passengers reportedly still missing. At least 40 passengers of the stricken vessel were pulled out of the water alive by fishermen who, when the ferry went into distress, made their way to the scene to assist long before an official rescue mission could be launched.
This accident is the latest in a series of similar incidents, every time prompting government officials to promise stricter enforcement of ship inspections and assuring that the vessels are not overloaded, something which has been suggested happened in this latest tragedy too.
However, it appears that overloading of lake boats is still continuing as memories of past tragedies fade, only to end in another tragedy and fresh promises to stop the practise, before the cycle resumes.
Past marine disasters in Tanzania include the sinking of MV Bukoba, also on Lake Victoria, with a loss of almost 1.000 lives, the sinking of ferry Spice Islander between Unguja and Pemba in 2011 which claimed over 200 lives, the sinking of MV Kalama enroute from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar / Unguja which also claimed dozens of lives besides a number of other accidents less costly vis a vis the loss of life.
Condolences are expressed to the families and friends of those who perished.