Saturday, 14 August 2010

How I lost my 10 children in boat tragedy

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Fredirick Katulanda

As a tiny village on Chitandele Island in Lake Victoria comes to terms with the tragic loss of the 18 schoolchildren, who perished in a boat tragedy over a week ago, life will never be the same again for the locals, but especially for one family, which has borne the brunt of it. For 51-year-old fisherman and boat owner Rwakanandi Mtahayo and his family, everything literally came to a standstill on the morning of August 4, when death came knocking at his doorstep.

In one fell swoop, the rough waters of Lake Victoria snuffed out the lives of his 10 perfectly healthy children, who were on their way to school on that fateful day, in a way he would never have imagined. The other eight were the children of his close relatives.

A week after the burials of the 18 children, who drowned when their boat capsized in Sengerema District, Mwanza Region, Mr Mtahayo, who had initially been viewed as a villain when the news broke, has emerged as the worst hit by the tragedy.

Read full story.

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