T/A Mwamlowe calls for more support towards Rumphi boat tragedy

As efforts to trace 10 people who were reported missing following Easter Sunday Rumphi boat tragedy, T/A Mwamlowe has called on the need for more big boats with adequate fuel to help rescue teams in the search for the missing people.

Mourning the Rumphi boat tragedy

“The local boat operators are using small boats with insufficient fuel and other boats have no fuel; we would have loved if we had enough fuel and larger boats in the rescuing exercise,” said T/A Mwamlowe Tuesday.

About 54 people survived; five were pronounced dead at Mlowe Health Centre and 10 were reported missing when an overloaded boat they were sailing in from Mlowe to Tcharo in Rumphi capsized due to stormy weather conditions on Lake Malawi.

Almost 80 people, including 50 CCAP members were returning from Mlowe after Easter celebrations but after about 100 metres off the coast the boat was hit by a huge wave which made the crew lose to control and the boat capsized.

Earlier, Police had said three people had reportedly gone missing but the figure rose to 10 people by Monday afternoon and situation remained the same Tuesday.

Rumphi Police Station Officer, Charles Mpezeni commended Malawi Defence Force soldiers from Chilumba Barracks and some local boat operators who joined hands in the rescue effort of the survivors.

Mpezeni disclosed that the operator of the capsized Kayokha boat managed to swim to safety and bolted soon after the occurrence of the accident and his whereabouts remains unknown.

“Knowing that the situation had gone out of hand, the boat operator managed to swim to the shore and he is still at large”, Mpezeni said.

Meanwhile, Traditional Authority Mwamlowe has thanked people and organisations for humanitarian assistance that has been trickling in with the Office of the President and Cabinet through Department of Disaster Management (DoDMA) leading the cause.

DoDMA has provided financial support of K100, 000 for funeral expenses for families that have lost their loved ones and K50, 000 to those in hospital plus other assorted items to the victims that survived the accident and lost personal belongings during the tragedy.

T/A Mwamlowe also disclosed that the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Goodall Gondwe  had donated money mounting to MK350 000 while Democratic Progressive Party General Secretary,Grizeder Jeffrey had donated MK200,000.

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