DRC: shipwreck leaves at least 30 dead and more than 160 missing

DRC: nearly 40 dead in boat capsize

Nearly 40 people are presumed dead after a wooden boat capsized on Lake Kivu in eastern Congo. The ship, carrying 50 passengers and 20 bags of cement, reportedly sank on Sunday due to possible overload.

A new boat accident has been recorded in eastern DRC. South Kivu provincial official Mustafa Mamboleo confirmed that of the 50 people on board, only 10 survived, and three bodies have been recovered so far. The search continues intensely to locate the 37 people still missing. Evidence indicates that the overloading of the boat, also carrying construction materials, could be the cause of the tragic accident.

Tragedies of this kind are unfortunately not rare in Congo, where crews often take risks by overloading often fragile boats. Last January, Lake Maî-Ndombe was the scene of a similar disaster which cost the lives of 22 people. In April of the previous year, six people lost their lives and 64 went missing on Lake Kivu.

Daniel Lwaboshi, director of the Congo Public Waterways Office, told public television that frequent non-compliance with maritime regulations and overloading of boats contribute significantly to these avoidable accidents. Local maritime authorities face the challenge of strengthening surveillance and enforcement of safety standards to protect the lives of citizens.