At least nine people are reported to have drowned in river Nile. Their death has been confirmed by Patrick Jimmy Okema, the police spokesperson in North Kyoga.
The deceased have been identified as Peter Lotyang 19, Simon Lemukol 18, Simon Lotham 30, John Lomuria 15, Kamur Nomha (21), Ngole Simon (21), Lonta Joseph (19), Lucumwa Simon 35, and Joseph Lokuwam 19.
The survivors are; Bosco Muleka and Godfrey Byekwaso, who were riding the boat, along with two other passengers, Simon Locire and Peter Lukwampe.
According to Okema, 13 workers from the Maruzi palm oil project farm embarked on a journey to seek employment in Masindi District, as they had not been paid by the management of the Indian farm.
“The Kungu Police Post was notified, and a case of drowning was registered. The survivors were transported to a nearby health center for treatment, while efforts are underway to locate and retrieve the bodies of the deceased from the water,” he said in a statement.
“This incident is unfortunate and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims. We strongly urge workers to approach the labor officers stationed in all District Local Government offices across the country in case of any challenges at their workplaces, before making any drastic decisions,” he said.
Upon reaching Kungu landing site, they discovered that the ferry was not operational, consequently, they decided to board a small canoe to cross to the Masindi port landing site. Tragically, the canoe capsized, resulting in the drowning of all thirteen individuals, with only four survivors.