At least fourteen are said to have drowned when an overloaded passenger vessel capsized in the Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto State, a local official said Thursday, in the nation’s latest boat-related accident.
The victims — 11 men and three women — were travelling for an event marking the birth of Prophet Mohammed on Tuesday when the accident happened.
“We recovered the bodies of the 14 victims and buried them yesterday (Wednesday),” the administrator of Shagari district, Alyu Abubakar Dantani told AFP.
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He said 10 other passengers were rescued by local divers.
Boat accidents occur regularly in Nigeria because of overloading, speeding, poor maintenance and disregarding navigation rules.
In April, 26 people — including 21 women and five children — drowned when their canoe capsized on the same river, officials said at the time.
Two weeks ago, 76 people were killed when their overloaded boat tipped over due to flooding in southeastern Anambra state.
Since the start of the rainy season, many regions of the West African nation of more than 200 million people have been devastated by floods.
More than 600 people have been killed and at least 1.3 million made homeless, according to the emergency services.
The continuous rain has washed away farmland and crops, sparking fears of food shortages, famine and hunger in a country already struggling with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.