At least 34 people remain missing after a boat capsized on Lake Kivu in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday.
As at Friday, volunteers and relatives wear still searching for missing dozens missing and others who are feared dead in the lake.
Local say, 15 bodies have been recovered since Thursday, when a “pirogue” carrying about 100 people sank in Kalehe territory, in South Kivu.
Father of nine, Alexis Simba, lost his wife and children.
“Here I am in pain and I have a great sadness because it is not easy to lose a wife and I had nine children. My dead boys had just graduated from school.”
A survivor Ezechiel Matakumba sorrowfully explained how the situation happened was grateful to survive the incident.
“I am a father of five children, my wife died among those who died. I myself was in that moment when the boat capsized, I was lucky to be saved.”
The head of Munanira village, where several of the victims lived, said that it’s necessary for the government to build ports and so navigation on the river can be regulated to avoid more tragedies. Aristide Bagabo added that a proper rescue system has to be established.
“Our cry of alarm is to ask the head of state to help us with rescues because, if the passengers wear life jackets they can be saved easily. We also want the government to provide us with rescue machines in case of a shipwreck and, above all, that the government builds ports for us to facilitate and regulate the navigation.”
About 60 people were rescued alive.
The majority of the population use the rivers and lakes because of a lack of good roads and it is a less expensive form of transport.
Lake Kivu, located in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on the border with Rwanda, has a maximum depth of 475m.