The Tanzanian ferry disaster, in which more than 200 people have so far been confirmed dead, may have come at a time the East African Community was just launching its maritime safety programme.
On Monday, the bloc comprising five countries, three of which share Lake Victoria, were just implementing the Multinational Lake Victoria Maritime Communications and Transport (MLVMCT), a programme meant to improve navigation safety and rescue on the region’s largest fresh water mass.
Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) Executive Secretary Ali-Said Matano regretted that the MV Nyerere tragedy had occurred barely two weeks after the project was commissioned.
The project, funded by Africa Development Bank (AfDB), is coordinated by Lake Victoria Basin Commission, headquartered in Kisumu, and will be undertaken by all the three countries (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania).
A meeting of principal and permanent secretaries from the three countries, he noted, took place on September 6 in Kisumu “to fast-track the review of the technical aspects prior the construction” of the regional maritime rescue and coordination centres in Mwanza (Tanzania) and sub-centres in Entebbe (Uganda) and Kisumu.