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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Dozens Feared Drowned in DR Congo Shipwreck

Environment

7Dnews London

Sun, 11 Aug 2019 12:30 GMT

At least a dozen people have drowned in yet another shipwreck on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a regional official said Saturday 10th August.

The overcrowded motorised boat was carrying around 100 passengers when it capsized on the lake, near the eastern city of Bukavu.

"We have already registered 76 survivors," said Swedi Basila, the regional transport minister for South Kivu province, adding that up to 20 people were still missing.

"No body has been found until now," he told AFP.

The vessel had been on its way to the island of Idjwi when it hit a large rock and capsized, Basila said.

River transport is one of the most commonly used in DR Congo with its numerous waterways. Boat mishaps are common, typically caused by overloading of passengers and cargo.

Death tolls are often high because there are no life jackets, and many Congolese do not know how to swim.

In late May, at least 47 people died in a boat accident on Lake Mai-Ndombe in the west of the country.

In April, at least 167 people were killed in two accidents, prompting President Felix Tshisekedi to make it mandatory for boat passengers to have life jackets.

Africa