Death toll of disaster victims rises as President Museveni orders electronic registration of boats
Written by: George Kalisa
Sunday, November 25th, 2018, 11:07
At least 30 bodies had been recovered by the joint rescue mission, on the morning of November25 and hope of finding more survivors had continued to slim as the clock tickd on. By November24 divers had rescued only 26 survivors out of the speculated 120 revellers aboard the ill-fated boat cruiser according to local media.
Ugandan President H.E Yoweri Museveni blames the incident on overloading and inadequate disaster preparedness, citing lack of life jackets and standby engines on the boat.
“It seems the boat was overloaded because whereas it had capacity for 50 people only, it had about 120 passengers who also seemed to be partying with a lot of music. They might not have heard the emergency commands of the captain, who is still unaccounted for,” said President Museveni while commenting on the tragedy on Lake Victoria.
“The five times I crossed in small boats or canoes lakes Victoria and Tanganyika, I found them very dangerous to cross when you are not fully prepared; no overloading, standby engines, life jackets, reliable navigation et cetera"
Uganda Police say they could not tell the exact number of the revelers who were aboard the boat cruiser but eyewitnesses at KK Beach speculate between 100 and 120. The boat capsized 200 metres away from the mainland in central Uganda.
Among the survivors are Prince David Wasajja and city tycoon Freeman Kiyimba.
The cause of the accident is yet to be known but local media said by seven in the morning, operations had resumed on Lake Victoria to retrieve more bodies.
However, some Ugandans have attributed the accident to poor mechanical conditions of the boat and overloading.
“The boat itself had a problem. The engine would go off by itself and it also had a hole through which water was entering. When we spoke out, they told us the boat will be stable,” a survivor told a local TV today.