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News > Tanzania

More Deaths in Tanzania Due to Overloaded Vessels

  • Irresponsible sailing is a common practice in Tanzania. Aug. 1, 2023.

    Irresponsible sailing is a common practice in Tanzania. Aug. 1, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@ginakekea

Published 1 August 2023 (19 hours 42 minutes ago)
Opinion

Lake Victoria is one of the most extensively populated rural areas in the world. Numerous cities and towns are located in its surroundings, so the waterways remain highly traveled. The unpredictable behavior of Lake Victoria’s weather, which records sudden events of strong winds and rough waters, takes a heavy toll on the cruises, which are carried out with little safety and disrespect for navigation regulations.

The death of 11 minors and two adults in the sinking of two canoes overloaded with passengers is in the news today. The shipwreck took place on the shores of Lake Victoria. The news was released by members of the Fire and Rescue Brigade (FRB), who have only found the body of an unidentified child.

Related:
Tanzania: PM Urges African Women Police Officers To Join Forces

The dead children were students of a local school located in the village of Igundu, belonging to the Bunda district.

For readers who are aware of this topic, it is no surprise that shipwrecks like these occur in Tanzania and other countries bordering Lake Victoria.

Tanzania has one of the worst river transportation infrastructures on the African continent and in the world. Not only related to small vessels, but to all levels. The safety of ferry travel has been rated as abysmal by maritime safety institutions such as Worldwide Ferry Safety of New York.

There have been many shipwrecks of these large vessels in recent years, and the main cause continues to be overloading, as in the case of the shipwreck of these 11 minors and two adults.

Magere explained that the canoes were only capable of carrying 7 people each, but together they carried more than 28 crew members. In addition to the overloading of vessels, there are other causes, such as the poor condition of the fleet, poor maintenance practices, etc.

“We are continuing rescue operations and have deployed 22 police marines from the Mwanza and Mara regions”, reported Agostino Magere, FRB commander.

Irresponsible sailing is a common practice in the country. It is fostered both by the impunity and lack of scruples of some vessel owners and traders, as well as by the need of the inhabitants to have access to inexpensive trips, even at the cost of exposing their own lives.

Lake Victoria is one of the most extensively populated rural areas in the world. Numerous cities and towns are located in its surroundings, so the waterways remain highly traveled. The unpredictable behavior of Lake Victoria’s weather, which records sudden events of strong winds and rough waters, takes a heavy toll on the cruises, which are carried out with little safety and disrespect for navigation regulations.

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