‘Illegal dealings in Lake Kariba fuelling accidents’

0
246
An unregistered and overloaded boat at one of the fishing camps in Lake Kariba

BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
THE Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry has bemoaned that the influx of illegal dealers smuggling goods is increasing in accidents in Lake Kariba.

Acting director in the ministry Lameck Chitenga, told Southern Eye yesterday that the number of boat accidents had increased, while several boats were operating unlawfully at night.

Chitenga said there was need to conduct campaigns targeted at discouraging unsanctioned boat operations at night.

“Boats operating illegally at night in Lake Kariba are the source of accidents.

“As a ministry, we discourage this,” Chitenga said.

“We will continue with campaigns discouraging illegal boat operations and night travelling in the lake.”

The District Development Fund (DDF) Shipping Services once had six trial trips to fishing camps, but most travellers shunned their services because many would be carrying illegal goods, it was claimed.

“The trips were not sustainable because travellers preferred small boats which are not registered and travel illegally at night. These would be used to carry illegal fishing nets, alcohol and other items from neighbouring countries,” Chitenga said.

Of all commissioned water bodies in Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba carries the highest number of boats.

There are small vessels used by illegal dealers who operate unlawfully during the night carrying fish, illegal nets, groceries and other goods to nearby fishing camps such as Nyaodza, Musamba, Kingscamp, GacheGache and others.

On Thursday night last week, nine people nearly perished after a small boat they were travelling in developed a crack and capsized.

Aboard the vessel were three men, four women and two children.

  • Follow Obert on Twitter @osiamilandu