1 August 2012

Tanzania: Zanzibar Ferry Death Toll Reaches 128

Photo: Daily News
President Jakaya Kikwete and Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein view children's bodies.

Zanzibar — THE Zanzibar boat accident death toll now stands at 128, as authorities in the islands continue to promise that efforts would be made to improve sea transport including purchase of a new passenger/cargo ship.

The Mv Skagit ferry was carrying 290 people in including 17 tourists, when it sank. A total of 146 survived the accident.

However, President Ali Mohamed Shein has tasked marine disaster commission led by High Court Judge Abdulhakim Issa to investigate the causes of the accident which took place close to Chumbe Islet on July 18, this year when the vessel was moving from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar.

As people wait for the findings, President Shein has directed the ministry responsible to solicit funds both at home and abroad to buy a ship with a capacity of carrying at least one-thousand passengers and one hundred tons of cargo.

He further said that Zanzibar government was committed to buy a new ship, the isles Second Vice- President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi on Tuesday exchanged views with the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) executive officer, Mr Yohanne Kaduma on how the much needed vessel could be purchased.

Both Mr Seif and the CBA boss expressed the need for further collaboration that would lead to buying the vessel to minimize current transport to/from Zanzibar. Sea and air is the only means of transport, but most Zanzibaris cannot afford travel by air or fast boats.

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