Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Boat operators on Lake Albert have been warned against overloading passengers during the festive season.
Lake Albert is busy during the festive season with many of the Ugandans and their relatives crossing the lake to celebrate Christmas with their relatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson explains that marine police have intensified their operations on the Lake Albert waters to ensure that no single boat is overloaded with passengers.
Hakiza also said that the Police have put in place a special marine boat that will remain on standby to respond to emergencies on the lake.
Robert Mujuni, the Chairperson Lake Albert Boat Transporters Association says all boat transporters must adhere to the police directive. He says that disciplinary action will be taken against any boat transporter who will not adhere to the directive.
A series of boat accidents have occurred on Lake Albert in the past years during the festive season. The accidents are attributed to overloading of passengers and cargo.
In February, four Congolese perished in the lake after a boat they were sailing in capsized. The boat was reportedly carrying five family members fleeing the tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere in Ituri Province, Bunia district.
In 2016, 30 members of a village football team and their fans drowned after their boat capsized on the Lake Albert in Buliisa district. They were heading from the village of Kaweibanda in the western Buliisa District to watch a friendly Christmas Day match in Hoima District. The boat was loaded with 45 people.