23 still missing in Nsanje canoe accident


By Llywellenie Mpasa:

District Commissioner (DC) for Nsanje, Dominic Mwandira, Tuesday disclosed that 23 people were still missing two days after a canoe they were sailing in capsized on Mtayamoyo, a diversion of Shire River.

The accident occurred at a dock known as Phokera on Monday when a canoe carrying 37 people was hit by a hippo, according to the DC.


“Local authorities, with assistance from the community and relevant agencies, are coordinating efforts to locate and rescue the missing individuals,” Mwandira said.

He was speaking Tuesday when Minister of Water and Sanitation, Abida Mia, visited the scene of the accident.

Mwandira said detectives from Chiromo Police Unit and other rescue teams from the departments of National Parks and Wildlife and Marine were searching for the missing people.


“We have deployed boats, divers and other resources to search the river and its surroundings, until we have exhausted all available avenues or until the individuals are found,” he said.

Mia comforted the affected families and condoled with the family of a one-year-old boy who died in the accident.

“I came to assess the situation firsthand to gain a better understanding of the needs and requirements for ongoing rescue efforts and any necessary measures to prevent similar incidents in the future,” the minister said.

She said the visit served as an opportunity to coordinate relief efforts and ensure that affected communities receive the necessary support, both in terms of immediate assistance and long-term solutions.

“The State President has offered his condolences and promised the government’s full support to the affected families during this difficult period,” she said.

Mia presented K2 million to the families from President Lazarus Chakwera.

Member of Parliament for Nsanje Lalanje, Gladys Ganda, requested the wildlife department to address the issue of hippos causing disturbances in the area.

“Their population has increased considerably and they are damaging crops and causing accidents,” Ganda said.

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