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A group of Congolese refugees arriving at Ssebigoro landing site last week. Photo by Johnbosco Tugume

Boat Carrying Congolese Refugees Capsizes on Lake Albert, 4 die

The boat reportedly carrying five family members fleeing the tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere in Ituri  Province, Bunia district, DR Congo capsized midway on the waters of Lake Albert before reaching Uganda.
posted onFebruary 12, 2018

By Johnbosco Tugume

Four Congolese family members have been reported dead after a boat they were sailing in capsized on Lake Albert.

The boat reportedly carrying five family members on Sunday morning fleeing the tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere in Ituri Province, Bunia district, DR Congo capsized midway on the waters of Lake Albert before reaching Uganda.

John Steven Ekom, the chairman Hoima Disaster Preparedness Management committee and also Resident District commissioner  confirmed the report saying only one person survived.

He said the bodies are not yet retrieved and their identities are not known yet.

Mr Ekom said the cause of accident could have been due to overloading because the preliminary reports indicate the boat was overloaded with family luggage. Ekom said efforts to retrieve the bodies were underway by Sunday evening.

Congolese arriving at Ssebigoro reception centre last week. Photo by Johnbosco Tugume.

The number of Congolese who have died on Lake Albert has risen to seven in a period of one week.

Last Friday, an elderly Congolese woman carrying a child on her back drowned at Sebigoro landing site while fetching water.

Reports indicate the tired woman went to fetch water to quench her thirsty after arriving when she drowned with the baby.

Vicent Opio, the Kabwoya district councilor said another Congolese child aged five died on Thursday after arrival at Nyawaiga in Kabwoya sub-county due to alleged malaria.

Opio told Kampala post that the number of refugees fleeing DR Congo has doubled since last week.

“We are registering over 2000 people from Congo every day since Wednesday last week and the number is overwhelming,” he said.

Mr. Opio however decries the limited sanitary facilities especially latrines rising fears that cholera or dysentery may breakout anytime if no measures are put in place.

“Our biggest challenge is limited latrine accessibility because of the large numbers of people. We call upon NGO’s to intervene and provide mobile latrines before diseases breakout,” he said.

The violence has allegedly forced over 10,000 Congolese to flee into the neighboring Uganda since early December last year.

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