AMOLATAR- Eight fishermen have reportedly drowned in separate incidents in Lake Kyoga after their boats capsized following a heavy downpour at the weekend.
Local leaders and security personnel said seven people drowned at Bangala Landing Site while one person died at Chakwara Landing Site.
Both incidents happened at Namasale Sub-county in Amolatar District last Saturday evening.
The LC3 councillor of Bangala parish, Mr Richard Wacha, identified the deceased as James Ekel, Emmanuel Kadudu, Nicholas Mukisa, Denis Omara, Sam Alikoni, and 16-year-old Ronald Okonye.
While Wacha put the figure of the missing bodies at two, the Namasale Gombolola Internal Security Officer (GISO), Mr Denis Peko, told Daily Monitor on Monday afternoon that the bodies of more three people were still missing.
“We are working with Police Marine to search the waters for the remaining bodies but the number of people who died could be more than eight because there are some boats that are still scattered in the lake and the whereabouts of the owners is unknown…,” Mr Peko said.
Following the tragic incident, police have issued a warning to fishermen and travelers to avoid the lake when it is threatening to rain.
The North Kyoga regional police spokesman, Mr David Ongom Mudong, said some “people take life for granted by going into the lake even when they are seeing signs of rainstorms, yet some of them do not know how to swim and have no life jackets in case of an emergency.”
However, he blamed the incident on weak laws regulating the use of the lakes.
“The Beach Management Unit (BMU) should make sure that nobody goes into the lake when it is threatening to rain to avoid this kind of tragedy where we have lost several lives.
Travelling on the lake whether by fishermen or passengers must be regulated,” Mr Mudong noted.