, pub-7771400403364887, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Negligence Leads to Tragic Drowning Incident in Bunda

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Negligence Leads to Tragic Drowning Incident in Bunda

Friday, August 04, 2023

In a heartbreaking incident that unfolded at Lake Victoria in Mchigondo Village, Bunda, the recovery of 14 bodies has shed light on the negligence of multiple parties involved. The Bunda District Head, Dr. Vicent Naano, attributed the disaster to the carelessness of three groups, underscoring the need for greater responsibility and precautionary measures.

On July 30, in the late hours of the evening, tragedy struck as two canoes, carrying 28 members of the Holy Church of Spiritual God (KTMK), capsized in Lake Victoria. Despite the successful rescue of 14 individuals who were rushed to the hospital, the victims who lost their lives were all children under the age of 13. Shockingly, 11 of the deceased were students of Bulomba Primary School in Bunda district and residents of Igundu Village.

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Dr. Naano pointed out that this calamity could have been prevented had parents taken proper care of their children, avoiding such hazardous environments. Furthermore, the use of unsuitable canoes for passenger transportation added to the tragedy. The church, lacking proper registration, failed to ensure the necessary precautions were in place. Dr. Naano urged the public to exercise caution when attending churches that have not met legal requirements.

The rescue mission, lasting four days and facing adverse weather conditions, was finally concluded yesterday afternoon. The painstaking efforts of the Mara Region Fire and Rescue Service, with the assistance of local fishermen and residents, led to the recovery of all 14 bodies. However, challenges such as inclement weather, deep waters, and strong currents complicated the search operation.

Regrettably, due to the urgency of the situation and concerns of bodily swelling, traditional burial practices could not be performed. Instead of being shrouded in coffins, the bodies were placed in specially sealed nylon bags for transportation. Cyprian Kuboja, a resident of Mchigondo Village, explained that their community's traditional customs dictate burying those who have died in water accidents without coffins or shrouds. It is a longstanding tradition to bury them quickly, respecting their cultural practices.

Residents expressed their concerns about the unsuitability of the canoes used in the ill-fated journey. Mambo Mgeta, whose son was among the victims, highlighted the limited capacity of these canoes, which can only safely accommodate three people. He argued that the vessels utilized on that fateful day were eight feet in length, unfit for transporting 14 individuals. Regulations stipulate that canoes intended for carrying 10 passengers and above should be at least 18 to 19 feet long.

Rahima Mang'ati, the officer in charge of the Tanzania Shipping Agency (Tasac) in the Mara and Simiyu regions, confirmed that the canoes used did not meet safety standards for passenger transport. Mang'ati emphasized the necessity of adherence to rules and procedures for water transportation services, including vessel registration and inspections. If the residents of those villages plan to offer water transportation, they must follow the prescribed protocols to ensure the safety of all passengers involved.

It is important to note that while water transport may seem like a viable option for inter-village travel, the absence of official vehicles renders it unsafe. The primary means of transportation between Igundu and Mchigondo remains the use of gravel roads. The Chairman of Igundu Village, Sumils Nyamkinda, acknowledged that while there is no official fare for water transport, many residents resort to using canoes due to the lower cost. However, the lack of regulated water transport poses significant risks to the community.

The tragic incident in Bunda serves as a stark reminder of the consequences that negligence can have on innocent lives. It is crucial for authorities, community members, and individuals alike to prioritize safety, adhere to regulations, and take responsibility for preventing such disasters in the future. Let us learn from this tragedy and work together to ensure the well-being and security of all.

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