Dar es Salaam. The death toll in the MV Nyerere tragedy has climbed from 226 to 227 after one body was recovered on Wednesday, September 26.
Briefing the public today, the minister of Works, Transport and Communications, Mr Isack Kamwelwe, said the government was continuing to monitor rescue activities at Ukara Island.
“We are carrying various activities in our ongoing camp, including recovering more bodies and ensuring the ferry is righted,” he said during a live televised event.
According to him, a total of Sh594 million has been pledged by individuals, institutions and organizations, out of which Sh496.3 million of them was donated in cash.
“But following the President’s directives, Sh266 million has been paid to families which have lost their relatives in the tragedy as well as the 41 survivors,” he said.
Mr Kamwelwe, who doubles as the MV Nyerere tragedy chairman, said the account remained with a balance of Sh230 million after payments had been made to victims and survivors.
He warned people surfacing now, claiming to be survivors, so as to be paid, ruling out beneficiaries other than the 41 people who survived the ordeal.
Mr Kamwelwe was speaking after receiving Sh50 million donated by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and Sh5 million dished by the Zanzibar Telecom Limited (Zantel).
Speaking during the press briefing, the minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office - responsible for Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled - Ms Jenista Mhagama said the government will continue giving all respects to bodies recovered from Lake Victoria.
“The body recovered today has been identified by family members and the process for burial is underway,” she said.
She commended the Zanzibar government for their contribution, noting that it was a testimony that the union was getting stronger.
For his part, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen Venance Mabeyo, said divers were now pumping air into bags in their efforts to right the sunken ferry.
“A large ship from Geita Gold Mine (GGM) has arrived to help us, and Mr Songoro has also provided us with equipment. With this equipment I’m optimistic that the job will be fast-tracked,” he said.
MV Nyerere capsized last Thursday, 50 metres to Ukara Islet along Lake Victoria, killing 227 people. Only 41 people were rescued.
Preliminary investigations show that overloading was the cause of the accident that led to huge losses of lives and properties.