Uganda: Dozens feared dead after boat capsizes

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At least even people have died and dozens more remain missing after a boat capsized on Uganda’s Lake Albert.

The boat was carrying more than 50 passengers across the lake from the western district of Hoima. The passengers consisted of football players and fans travelling to Runga where a friendly football match between two local clubs was scheduled to take place. The incident comes after dozens of football players and fans drowned in 2016 after their boat capsized on Lake Albert.

Dozens missing after boat capsizes

The boat capsized on Sunday as players and fans were travelling to Runga landing site. At least 32 people were rescued within an hour of the incident with fishermen at nearby landing sites rushing out to save everyone they could, a police spokesman said.

According to authorities and witnesses, the boat was overloaded with passengers and capsized after being hit by strong winds.

Aside from the incident in 2016 where a previous boat capsized on Lake Albert, killing more than 20 people, two boats carrying refugees capsized in 2015 – 109 bodies were recovered from the late following the incident.

Witnesses say boats are regularly overloaded with people and life jackets stored onboard are often, even if there are enough for all the passengers. Additionally, many people in Uganda are unable to swim which makes the consequences of boats capsizing particularly devastating in the country.

Featured image: Google Maps

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.