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Ferry Tragedy in the DRC’s Lake Kivu

At least two children and one woman drowned after a passenger boat sank on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a local official said. The boat, bound for the regional capital, Goma, capsized overnight on Tuesday after having set off in the dark overloaded and from an illegal mooring, regional government spokesman Claude Basila said on Wednesday. Basila said the boat had 51 passengers on board, of whom 46 were rescued, three died, leaving two missing. However, survivors said the vessel was carrying at least 100 passengers. The DRC has long been plagued by disastrous boat accidents since vessels are often overloaded with passengers and cargo. In September 2019, 36 people were reported missing and feared drowned after a boat sank in the Congo River on the outskirts of Kinshasa. Earlier that year, at least 30 people died after a boat sank in a lake in western DRC. Travel by boat is one of the most commonly used methods of transport in DRC, with the vast country’s thousands of kilometres of waterways linking areas that are otherwise unconnected by roads.