26 September 2018

Tanzania: Red Cross Society Pioneers Psycho-Social Aid to MV Nyerere Ferry Survivors

Ukerewe — PSYCHOLOGISTS are contemplating psycho-social aid to the survivors and relatives of people who died in MV Nyerere ferry accident to recover from the trauma.

Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) is one of the institutions that have volunteered to deploy experts to help the accident victims recuperate, the task that is likely to last up to ten days.

TCRS Secretary General Julius Kejo, speaking to the 'Daily News' here yesterday, described the pyscho-social support as critically important for the victims to recover from the traumatic disasters like MV Nyerere accident.

"Aware of this critical need, we have deployed at least 30 members at the area, including five experts who will join their counterparts from the government to provide the psychological treatment to the affected relatives who are still in big shock," he said.

Timely and effectively administered pyscho-social intervention offers relief to the victims of mass disasters, making the deployment of experts for remedial measures of great importance.

TCRS Mwanza Regional Coordinator Gilbert Neka said apart from providing body bags for preservation of the bodies, the team which arrived as soon as the disaster occurred, participated in various rescue missions that saw 40 people saved from drowning.

Meanwhile, well-wishers continue donating to the victims, with the KCB Bank donating 125m/-.

Speaking shortly after submitting the dummy cheque, the bank's Board of Directors Chairperson, Ms Zuhura Muro challenged more business entities and individuals to generously support the affected families.

She said the donation came from the bank's network in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Other contributions came from the Dar es Salaam Catholic Archdiocese, with the Bishop of Geita Diocese Flavian Kassala submitting the contribution on behalf of Cardinal Polycalp Pengo.

"On behalf of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Pengo and myself please accept our condolences... the other dioceses are still mobilising contributions that will be submitted in due time," said Bishop Kassala.

Works, Communications and Transport Minister Engineer Isack Kamwelwe unveiled other contributors Tanzania Posts Corporation, which gave 10m/- and two individuals who offered 300,000/-, encouraging others to contribute albeit small amount.

As of yesterday, the minister said, 557m/- was received and deposed in the special account which was opened at the NMB Bank Kenyatta Branch in Mwanza.

The requiem mass was prayed at the Nyamanga Parish here on Monday evening, with Bishop Kassala asking the church community to extend prayers for the affected families of Ukara and the entire Ukerewe to recover from the trauma.

Ukerewe District Commissioner Boniface Magembe thanked the Catholic Church and Nyamanga Parish Priest for providing the first vehicle which helped in the rescue mission.

Life has not yet returned to normalcy here as the officers of Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) in collaboration with other experts work hard to evacuate the drowned vessel.

Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Venance Mabeyo could not predict the exact day when the vessel will be evacuated but remained optimistic that the task will be accomplished.

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