Lake Victoria Basin Commission management led by Executive secretary Dr Masinde Bwire issued donations of forty approved SOLAS life jackets and food stuff to the government of the Republic of Uganda following the recent boat tragedy that claimed fourteen lives.
The life jackets and foodstuffs which were received by the minister of works and Transport in the Republic of Uganda Gen. Edward Katumba will be distributed to boat users within Kasenyi landing site in Wakiso district.
Permanent secretary in the ministry of works and transport Mr Bageya Musaywa and his East African community affairs counterpart Mrs. Edith Mwanje were also present at the function.
The foodstuff will also be distributed to the bereaved families of the boat accident.
During the marine accident, fourteen people perished while ten others are still missing.
Ten other passengers were rescued alive.
Dr Bwire sent a message of condolence to the government of Republic of Uganda and bereaved families of the boat tragedy
He said Lake Victoria Basin Commission which is a coordinating entity for East African community partner states is keen in providing safe and water transportation in Lake Victoria.
He said in the Republic of Uganda already a cost of over UGX 17 billion has been spent towards the improvement of maritime safety in various projects.
Out of this total figure, USD 1.3M has been allocated for the construction of Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Entebbe while another USD 1.45 M has been spent on the construction of fisheries training institute in the same area.
A fast rescue boat and one firefighting boat have also been purchased at a cost of USD 1.32 M
Aids to navigation equipment and Buoys have been installed in Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert and Lake Victoria at a cost of USD 1.6M.
Another USD 400,000 has also been spent in the purchase of Ambulance boat while a total of nine search and rescue centers (SAR) are under construction at a cost of UGX 2.2 billion.
The executive secretary said the amount is part of USD 28 Million that was contributed by the East African community partner states in collaboration with other development partners.
Currently, the Commission is coordinating the Multinational Lake Victoria Maritime Communications and Transport (MLVMCT) project aimed at improving safety and security in the Lake.
Upon completion in December 2024, the MLVMCT project will provide Lake Victoria with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centers (MRCCs) supported by SAR centers spread along the shoreline and equipped with fast rescue boats and medical facility boats.
Other measures that are being undertaken by the Partner States, EAC Secretariat, and LVBC Secretariat aimed at improving SAR services on Lake Victoria include, effective implementation of the Lake Victoria Transport Act 2007.
On his part, minister of works and transport in the republic of Uganda Gen Edward Katumba thanked the commission for its efforts in ensuring maritime safety in Lake Victoria.
Gen Katumba said, “As a government we thank LVBC for committing itself towards maritime safety and we will support all initiatives aimed at ensuring the safety of our people”.