Following the deaths of 14 accident on Wednesday, this week, President Edgar Lungu has directed the Ministry of Transport and Communication to operationalize the newly acquired water vessel in Nchelenge Town in Luapula province..
Mr. Lungu has also directed all transporters on water bodies in the country to ensure that they adhere to safety rules by having life jackets.
The Republican President said this in a speech read on his behalf by Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa when he lead mourners for the burial of the
14 Nchelenge boat accident who died when the boat they were travelling in capsized on, Wednesday.
President Edgar Lungu who was represented at the funeral by Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa said it is disturbing that lives have been lost when government has invested a lot of money in the purchase of modern water vessels.
“We need to bring sanity on our lakes and rivers, and save lives and property! This is not acceptable when we have invested so much many in modern water vessels!”, President Lungu said.
President Lungu wondered why the boats which were were delivered in the last quarter of 2018 have not been operationalised.
The Head of State ordered for the strict enforcement of regulations in water transport.
President Lungu said it must be mandatory that all boats must have life jackets and be monitored to ensure the right loads are taken on board.
And the Head of State paid glowing tribute to the Marines for their quick response.
“We thank the Marines for their quick response without which, the consequences would have been worse. Lets us all embrace the Marines and support their work, as we are all witnesses to their value!”
Mr. Lungu has called on the people entrusted to serve the community to work professionally adding that accidents like the Nchelenge one could have been avoided.
The President has also called on the passengers not avoid being overloaded on boats but to speak out.
And Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe has encouraged mourners not to be discouraged but look up to God both in good and bad times.
one of the survivors thanked President Lungu for the coming of the marines saying without them, all of them would have perished.
President Lungu sent a delegation of government officials led by Mr. Chilangwa and included Nchelenge Member of Parliament Anthony Malama, Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Dr. Felix Phiri, Transport and communications Permanent Secretary Misheck Lungu, Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Eng. Charles Mushota and National Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit Permanent Secretary Chanda Kabwe.
Government has bought coffins and taken over the sponsorship of all funeral logistics.