Central Africa: 41 Persons Drown in DR Congo Boat Mishap

27 December 2020

The bodies of 41 victims of a wrecked boat were recovered Thursday from Lake Albert, which lies between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), official sources told PANA in Kinshasa on Saturday.

An administrative source in Bunia, capital of the province of Ituri in the North-East of DR Congo said the shipwreck occurred on Wednesday, not far from the Kolokoto fishing camp located in the Wagongo chiefdom in the territory of Mahagi in the province of Ituri.

The outboard canoe belonging to a Ugandan had on board about 100 traders from the fishing camp of Runga in Mahagi territory who went to market at Panyimur, located in the district of Pakwac, in Uganda, when it capsized, following a strong wind on Lake Albert.

The search continued in the hope of finding more than 80 other missing persons.

In the DR Congo, shipwrecks often result in very heavy tolls due to overloading and dilapidation of the boats, the lack of life jackets on board, and night navigation and the fact that many passengers cannot swim.

The navigation of small boats is prohibited at night on Congolese waters by the authorities. But this measure is regularly violated by carriers to avoid harassment.

Last June, 18 people drowned after their two boats sank on Lake Albert.

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