Around 224 people lost their lives on 21st of September in a ferry disaster that sent shock waves throughout Tanzania and the whole world.
The ferry tragically capsized only 50 metres from shore as passengers thronged forwards to prepare to disembark, unbalancing the over-crowded craft. The ferry was built to carry a maximum of 100 passengers, but reports say that around 400 passengers had been on board. The MV Nyerere ferry was travelling between Ukora Island and Bugolora.
The people in the community where Cedar Tanzania works, Kamanga, use similar ferries every day to connect between Kamanga coast village and the larger city of Mwanza. Our Cedar team knows how it feels to be in a ferry that is filled with buses, cars and people. It is a nerve-wrecking and yet accepted part of travelling the lake between Kamanga Health Centre and Mwanza town.
Our Kamanga residents make this journey often, crossing the lake to Mwanza town either for work or school. To contemplate of such a disaster ever happening to our small lake side community would be hard to ever think about. So we all at Cedar Tanzania are especially deeply saddened by the MV Nyerere ferry disaster and want to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.