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Locals, Police Struggle to Recover Two Bodies from Lake Bunyonyi :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Locals, Police Struggle to Recover Two Bodies from Lake Bunyonyi

Among the victims were Rachael Naturinda, Lehonelia Kesande, and a five-month-old baby boy identified as Grant. While two individuals were rescued by nearby locals, the body of the infant was later discovered floating on the water.
Lake Bunyonyi

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Residents and the marine police are engaged in a challenging search for two out of three victims who drowned in Lake Bunyonyi last Saturday. The incident occurred during the evening hours when a canoe, carrying five people and sailing towards Murandi Mugyera town council in Rubanda district, capsized.   

Among the victims were Rachael Naturinda, Lehonelia Kesande, and a five-month-old baby boy identified as Grant. While two individuals were rescued by nearby locals, the body of the infant was later discovered floating on the water. According to Stephen Kabarebe, a resident, and Elidad Kalanzi, the LC 1 chairperson of Murandi village, the canoe capsized due to strong storms lasting about five hours, triggered by heavy rainfall.   

Despite efforts to rescue all victims, the lack of immediate access to another canoe hindered their attempts. The victims were reportedly returning home from their gardens at the time of the incident. George Asiimwe, another resident, calls for government intervention, suggesting the provision of life-saving jackets to households to mitigate such accidents.   

//Cue in: “hati kunabeire ndi…     

Cue out: …mu Nyanja.”//   

Elly Maate, Police Spokesperson for the Kigezi region, confirms that search efforts are ongoing. However, if unsuccessful, both locals and police will resort to traditional measures, as bodies tend to float after being submerged in deep waters for several days.   

//Cue in: “We received this…     

Cue out: …very unfortunate.”//   

Lake Bunyonyi has witnessed several cases of drowning. In August 2023, Martin Izabayo, a student of Lake Bunyonyi Secondary School, drowned while heading to Harutinda market with his friend Daniel Owamani. Owamani was rescued, highlighting the recurring nature of such incidents.   

Despite a pledge made by President Yoweri Museveni in 2016 to establish a ferry on the lake to mitigate accidents, the initiative remains unfulfilled. Lake Bunyonyi, shared by Rubanda and Kabale districts, is the second deepest lake in Africa, with a depth of about 900 meters (2952ft).

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