Bodies of Two Drowned Boys Retrieved from L. Victoria 

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Police in Kiira region working with local divers have retrieved the bodies of two boys who reportedly drowned in Lake Victoria, along the Masese landing site pier in Jinja City on Christmas evening. It is reported that the duo had gone swimming along the shoreline.

However, unexpected storms swept over the area, causing them to drown. The lifeless body of Fazil Mukungu (12) was retrieved Monday night, whereas, the body of the other boy whose particulars are not yet known was retrieved today’s morning. The deceased’s bodies are lying at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital mortuary pending postmortem, as detectives make further inquiries into the matter.

Another minor, whose identity has been withheld, as he is still undergoing post-trauma therapy after surviving the drowning incident, says that they were about 13 in number, with some of their colleagues hailing from Jinja central business district. He explained that they went swimming in the evening as part of their norms but heavy storms washed them off to the dry parts of the shoreline, whereas, the two drowned.

He explained that on noticing the unfortunate incident, they all fled off in separate ways without informing anyone, for fear of reprimand by the authorities at the Masese landing site.

Badru Kigaito, a local diver who participated in the rescue mission, says that they lack a rescue center, with the necessary human resources to facilitate the search for victims, which contributes to the fatal cases registered in the area.

“This is a big landing site with several commercial and other unregulated activities where we have lost over five people in this year alone, due to unavailability of quick response to rescue them at least 30 minutes after the accident,” he said.
Hussein Kibirige, a fisherman says that there are unpredictable storms, which have been raging over the lake at different times of the day for the past three months and their colleagues have equally suffered severe injuries, lost fishing gear, and boats, among other valuables.

He, however, says that there is no explicit manpower mandated to regulate access to the lake, leading to the escalation of related accidents daily. Kibirige also says that communities neighboring the landing site reluctantly allow their children to swim in the evenings, as it has become a daily norm not knowing that, just like other places in the world, the lakes too are experiencing the negative effects of climate change.

“We highly suspect that these heavy storms are as a result of climate change and since most of the lake users cannot afford life jackets, we are remotely mobilizing surrounding communities to minimize endless thronging to the Lake without genuine causes,” he said. The Kiira regional police spokesperson, James Mubi says that scene of crime officers have already documented pieces of evidence extracted from the drowning points and they are liaising with local leaders to locate the parents of the deceased.

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