Residents of the 29 Islands on the deepest lake in Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi are concerned that the lake is taking so many lives of their kin while using canoes do carry on their daily routines.
Lake Bunyonyi lies between Rubanda and Kabale districts and is the second deepest mass water body in Africa after Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika. On the 29 islands that exist atop it, there are institutions of learning, churches, health centres, and tourist sites.
In a space of a month, the lake has claimed lives of; two students, Moreen Ninsiima of Senior Two at Creamland High School in Kabale Town and Evidence Kakuru of Kyenyi Primary School Rubanda District; Five people from Hamukaka Village in Kyenyi Parish and five people of the same family in Rwanyena Village, Kabale have drowned in the lake after their locally made canoes capsised.
“We hope this situation will change once the proposed establishment of a ferry means of transport is fulfilled by government,” Enock Kazooba, the chairperson of Ryakarimira Town Council in Kabale District said.
Locals admit that each family has a possession of a canoe to aid in their transport as they carry out activities like farming, trading and even taking children to school.
President Museveni has on several occassions promised to establish a ferry on Lake Bunyonyi following pleas from locals. In June 2020, officials from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) visited the lake for a “feasibility study” on the establishment of two ferries but the locals still wait.
According to a report we have received, the Lake takes lives of at least 4 people every month. Even then, some deaths go unrecorded with the Police because their nature of death is not criminal.