On August 3rd, 2023, The East African Community’s Lake Victoria Basin Commission (EAC_LVBC) expressed deep condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in a devastating boat tragedy that struck Lake Victoria, in Bunda district, Tanzania, and claimed the lives of fourteen people.
The incident occurred on Sunday 30th July 2023 at around 6:30pm when a section of believers from the Mennonite Church of Tanzania were crossing the lake on their way back from church and on the course, one of the canoes experienced a leakage as revealed by Bunda District Commissioner, Dr Vicent Naano, to Tanzania Daily News.
The EAC-LVBC, responsible for promoting sustainable development and management of resources within the Lake Victoria Basin, promptly extended its sympathies to the families.
“The Lake Victoria Basin Commission joins the family, friends and relatives in mourning those who perished in the boat tragedy in Lake Victoria, Bunda district, Mara region in the United Republic of Tanzania on 30th July 2023. The commission consoles with United Republic of Tanzania following this tragic accident.” LVBC statement.
According to Kenyan News Agency, the LVBC executive secretary, Dr. Masinde Bwire said that the commission is coordinating the Multinational Lake Victoria Maritime Communications and Transport (MLVMCT) project aimed at improving safety and security in the Lake, including Search and Rescue (SAR) services in the event of marine accidents occurring in the waters of Lake Victoria.
He also revealed that, upon completion in December 2024, “The MLVMCT project will provide Lake Victoria with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs), supported by SAR centres spread along the shoreline and equipped with fast rescue and medical ambulance boats.
Lake Victoria, shared by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, has historically been a vital source of livelihood, transportation, and commerce for the communities residing along its shores.
However, accidents, like the recent boat tragedy, have underscored the importance of addressing safety concerns to prevent future catastrophes.