The territorial police in Apac District are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding a tragic incident in which a group of individuals drowned in the River Nile on July 10th, 2023, around 4:00 a.m. The incident was reported by Okule Gabriel, a 19-year-old supervisor, working at the Indian palm oil farm in Maruzi ranch, Apac District.
According to the statement which has been released by SP Patrick Jimmy Okema , Public Relations Officer – North Kyoga so far nine people have been reported dead.
“The deceased have been identified as; Lotyang Peter, 19 years old, Lemukol Simon, 18 years old, Lotham Simon, 30 years old, Lomuria John, 15 years old, Kamur Nomha, 21 years old ,Ngole Simon, 21 years old, Lonta Joseph, 19 years old, Lucumwa Simon, 35 years old
and Lokuwam Joseph, 19 years old.”
The survivors are; Muleka Bosco and Byekwaso Godfrey, who were riding the boat, along with two other passengers, Locire Simon and Lukwampe Peter.
According to reports, on the night of July 9th, 2023, thirteen 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. 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.
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.
Okema further added that the incident is unfortunate and they extend their 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.”