Govt to release Sh267m for ferry disaster victims

Tuesday September 25 2018

The graves of some of those who died in the MV

The graves of some of those who died in the MV Nyerere ferry disaster are seen yesterday on Ukara islet with the capsized vessel in the background. The death toll from last Thursday’s disaster climbed to 226 yesterday following the recovery of two more bodies. Experts yesterday began the delicate task of turning over the ferry and towing it to shore. PHOTO | MICHAEL JAMSON 

By Mosenda Jacob @TheCitizenTZ

Dar es Salaam. Forty-one survivors of the MV Nyerere ferry disaster at Ukara in Ukerewe District will receive Sh1 million apiece, thanks to the government’s decision.

A similar amount will be given to each of the families that lost one of the 226 people who perished in the accident, which occurred on September 20, the minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Mr Isack Kamwelwe, said yesterday.

This means that a total of Sh267 million will dished out to the victims of the ferry accident as the government strives to bring life in the islet to normalcy.

“President John Magufuli has directed us to give out the money to the victims right here on Tuesday (today)…He has told us that the money is yours and must be spent on consoling those affected by the accident,” he said, asking the Mwanza regional commissioner, Mr John Mongella, to come up with a plan of how the money will be paid out. In response, Mr Mongella called upon all the affected families to come to Ukara and receive the money.

On Saturday and Sunday, the government gave each affected family some Sh500,000 to help in the burial of each recovered body.

As of yesterday, the government had already collected a total of Sh397.02 million from various individuals, institutions and companies for supporting the victims of the ferry accident.

MV Nyerere ferry, travelling between the Ukara and Bugolora Islets, capsized last Thursday at 13:48 hours about 50 metres from the berth as it was about to dock.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has named a team of seven people under the chairmanship of General George Waitara, the retired Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), to investigate causes of the tragedy.

Speaking yesterday after inspecting the righting of the capsised ferry on Lake Victoria, Mr Majaliwa named Ukerewe lawmaker Joseph Mkundi as one of the team members.

Former Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (Temesa) chief executive director Marcelina Magesa will also be part of the team.

“Her experience in Temesa is much needed in formulating terms of references for the probe team,” he said during an event televised live.

He named other members as advocate Julius Kalolo, who will be in charge of reviewing the legal system used in operating ferries, and Queen Mlozi.

Others are police senior officer Cammilus Wambura and Mr Bashiru Taratibu Hussein from the Department of Disaster Management in the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The team is supposed to start working immediately,” he said.

“After reorganising itself, the team should collect terms of reference that will lead it during the investigation. I want this job to be completed in one month’s time.”