L.Albert Boat Accident Survivors Speak Out


abortion sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>On Saturday morning at around 10:00am, ed a boat carrying about 200 Congolese refugees from the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement Camp capsized near the junction of River Ngusi from Hoima joining Lake Albert at Kitebere.

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According to Mr. Bosco Bakashaba the Ntoroko District Police Commander, rescue teams led by UPDF officers and fishermen have retrieved 19 bodies which are lying at Ntoroko Health centre 11 in Kanara town council and 41 people were rescued.

He said out of the 92 people who were on board, 15 bodies of children below the age of 10 years were recovered, a youth aged 15, two women and an adult aged 60.

The rescued Congolese are currently being kept at Kitebere police post for safe Custody.

Some of the survivors told police and the media that there were three boats ferrying Congolese refugees who were escaping from Kyangwali returning to Democratic Republic of Congo with majority being women and children.

Bodies of the children that were retrieved

They disclosed that they were escaping the poor sanitation at the camp and shortage of food adding, that they were spending nights without getting food.

Kabadde Pasisi, a Congolese survivor, told journalists that she lost eight relatives in the accident.

Kabadde adds that two bodies of Mustafa and the 90 year-old Georgina were recovered.

Kabadde, a survivor

She said other relatives only identified as Mugisa, Night 30, Madina aged 15, Adiija 13, Muhammad 6 and Abbu aged 4 months, all residents of Kawonda Njia Panda DRC, are still missing.

Teresa Samareta, another survivor, discloses that she lost her auntie only identified as Ruta Mukana, aged 60.

Teresa added that the bodies of other relatives who include Mutesa and his four children have not yet been retrieved.

She narrated that the accident was caused by the strong winds which engineered massive water waves.

Basikania Hamitage, the Settlement Commandant Bubukwanga Transit Centre Bundibugyo district, confirmed that 19 bodies that were retrieved from Lake Albert were transported to Bundibugyo main hospital Mortuary and they were organising a mass burial on Sunday at Bubukwanga Prison Land.

“The Congolese refugees prefer water transport because it is cheaper compared to road transport. It costs Shs 7,000 travelling by water compared to Shs 50,000 travelling by road.”

Mr. Basikania said out of 13,500 Congolese refugees that had been resettled at Kyangwali Resettlement camp in Hoima, about 2,600 Refugees have already escaped from the camp.

Most of them sell off their cards to local residents in order to raise money for transport back to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The local people have continued to receive items from the camp on their behalf.

Recently, about 40 Congolese refugees were intercepted in a omnibus in Fort Portal escaping from Kyangwali refugee camp in Hoima.

They alleged said the sanitary conditions at the camp were alarming and hunger was a major problem.


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