Boat Capsizes In Uganda, Leaves 26 Dead

Men ride a boat in the waters of Dal Lake during the sunset in Srinagar on December 25, 2020. Tauseef MUSTAFA / AFP
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE STORY: Men ride a boat in the waters of Dal Lake during the sunset in Srinagar on December 25, 2020. Tauseef MUSTAFA / AFP


At least 26 people died when their boat sank on Lake Albert, which marks the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ugandan officials told AFP on Friday.

The boat was carrying passengers between two Ugandan locations in the lake’s northeast on Wednesday when it “hit a strong wind” and “went under water”, local official Ashraf Oromo said.

“The boat had over 50 people on board, 26 bodies have been recovered, 21 people were rescued,” Oromo said.

READ ALSO: Tunisia Extends Five-Year-Old State Of Emergency

“A search is ongoing and no more survivors are expected.”

A regional police marine officer, Samuel Onyango, confirmed the accident.

“Because of failure to adhere to safety measures and fast changing weather patterns, Lake Albert has many accidents,” Onyango said.

Eighteen people drowned when two boats capsized in separate incidents in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in June.



Uganda Footballers, Fans Killed In Boat Capsize



At least eight members of a Ugandan football team and their fans died and 15 more are missing, after a boat they were travelling in capsized on Lake Albert, police said Monday.

The boat was travelling between two fishing villages in the west of the country when it capsized, with police attributing the accident to overloading and bad weather.

“So far we have recovered eight bodies … up to 15 people are missing and a joint Marine unit is on the waters. But we expect no more survivors,” Ugandan area regional spokesman, Julius Allan Hakiza, told AFP.

A local official in Fofo, Baker Ogen, told AFP the toll was higher.

“Those who have died in this tragedy are 30 and all from my area,” said Ogen.

“The boat was loaded with our players and supporters. It had over 60 people but 32 of those survived,” he said, adding that the dead included five players and the team coach.

“It is a tragedy for us and a big loss,” he added.

READ ALSO: Two Policemen, Five Others Killed In Mali Border Attack

In December 2016, at least 30 Ugandan members of a village football team and their fans drowned when their boat capsized on Lake Albert during a party.

In 2014 at least 251 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo drowned on the lake while returning home from Uganda.

Such accidents are common in Africa’s Great Lakes region, where boats are often the only form of transportation, are over-crowded and poorly maintained, and few people know how to swim.

Almost 140 people died last month on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last year in Tanzania 228 people drowned when a ferry sank just metres from the shore on Lake Victoria.