Preliminary Investigations into the marine accident which left 18 people dead when a boat carrying them capsized on Lake Mweru in Nchelenge District of Luapula Province have revealed that the boat capsized due to overloading and stormy weather that occurred on the lake.
The accident occurred on 13th February, 2019 between 09 and 10 hours and involved was a motorized wooden boat carrying 39 passengers travelling from mainland Nchelenge to Isokwe Island out of which 21 survived.
Acting Minister of Transport and Communications Mutotwe Kafwaya said the coxswain ignored warning of the stormy weather and kept loading the passengers and cargo and decided to sail despite the bad weather.
Mr. Kafwaya said unfortunately the boat did not have the required number of lifesaving appliances on board that could have prevented this tragedy.
He said Government has to this effect put in place measures to enhance water safety and procured three passenger vessels among them one 24 seater which is operational on Lake Mweru and two by 120 seater boats which are yet to be launched in Nchelenge and Samfya in an effort to provide safer transportation on the waters.
He said in order to expedite the launch of the two boats in Samfya and Nchelenge his Ministry liaised with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to engage the army to construct temporary landing Jetties to operationalize the boats.
Mr. Kafwaya said going forward, the Ministry of Transport and Communications remains focused at setting policy and regulation and will timely capacitate staff in Local Authorities.
He said the Ministry is also reviewing the legal and institutional framework of the Department of Maritime and Inland Waterways which is responsible for the development, regulation, enforcement and registration of boat operators as well as the provision of oversight supervision to the sub-sector.
Be proactive and not reactive, people have been struggling with water transport.Men paddle for long hours and distances and have built muscle.Look at the hours taken to paddle from Nchelege Boma to Isokwe or Kanakashi or Kashilu.They paddle in tracherous conditions and follow the coast to avoid open water (lake). Sometimes it is inevitable and they risk when they go in an open space and meet unpredictable wind like Mulumbi.I have been there before
The boat will sink the whole country one day – MTSRIP.
MTSRIEP and may the govt that decided to spend $42m on 42 useless wheelbarrows know that the blood of those deceased will forever be on their hands.
MTSRIP .government when things happen and forget at the same time.
I mean government they talk when accident happened and they forget after burial
Comment:Too painful especially to the families mtsrip????????
People are dying like animals while Lungu sent his wife and her crew to USA mukutamba ifima fire engine ifyapwamo.
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