|MV Spice Islander ikiwa Honduras kabla ya kufika Tanzania|
|MV Spice Islander ikijazwa mizigo katika bandari ya Dar au Zanzibar?|
|MV Spice Islander bandarini Zanzibar mwaka jana|
Mungu alaze roho za waliokufa mahala pema mbinguni. AMEN.
"We have regularly featured disasters such as this, usually in the poorer regions of the world when vessels, often rejected by Western countries for reasons of safety, unreliability or age, are snapped up for use in areas unsuited to them. In this case it seems clear that safety measures regarding maintenance and load levels were simply ignored, presumably in the name of profit, leading to yet another avoidable tragedy. "
|MV Spice Islander Debris Field off the coast of Zanzibar|
TANZANIA – Once again we are witness to tragedy when the MV Spice Islander, a freight and passenger RoRo (roll on/roll off) ferry travelling between the offshore islands of Unguja and Pemba in the Zanzibar archipelago lost power whilst traversing the dangerous waters off the coast of Zanzibar. The strong currents in the area apparently caused the overloaded vessel to capsize and the current death toll stands at around 200.
The disaster however could have been much worse as reports state that the ferry was carrying a complement of in excess of 800 souls plus a quantity of cargo, her official capacity is reported as 645 plus 45 crew. The bodies, recovered from the water are being taken to a local football stadium, include many children. Some reports state that the vessel was listing before she embarked causing some passengers to leave her prior to departure from Unguja. There are no reported tourist deaths as yet, most prefer local speedboats to the slower ferry service.
We have regularly featured disasters such as this, usually in the poorer regions of the world when vessels, often rejected by Western countries for reasons of safety, unreliability or age, are snapped up for use in areas unsuited to them. In this case it seems clear that safety measures regarding maintenance and load levels were simply ignored, presumably in the name of profit, leading to yet another avoidable tragedy.
Spice Islander is a Ro-Ro ferry of 836 gross tonnes was built in Greece in 1967 as Marianna. She was renamed Apostolos P following a sale in 1988 before being sold to a Honduran company in 2007 and renamed. She had been in trouble before when, in 2007, she broke down off the Somali coast reportedly due to fuel contamination. On that occasion she was aided by a patrolling US naval vessel which resupplied her with fuel. Speaking earlier today, the UK’s Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham said:
“I was deeply saddened by news of the ferry disaster off Tanzania earlier today which claimed the lives of so many people. On behalf of the British Government, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to those affected and their families.
“When I visited Tanzania in May I was struck by how close the relationship is between our countries and the warmth and friendship of the Tanzanian people. At this difficult time, our thoughts are with the people of Tanzania as they come to terms with this terrible tragedy.”
Death toll reaches 240, search continues
By Mwinyi Sadallah
12th September 2011
Zanzibar residents bury the body of one of the passenger who died after MV Spice Islanders capsized on Saturday. The burial ceremony took place in Kama area in the Isles, yesterday. (Photo: Khalfan Said)The death toll in the Zanzibar marine accident which involved MV Spice Islander boat yesterday rose to 240 people, as more bodies were pulled from the ocean.
The Zanzibar Police Commissioner Mussa Ali Mussa gave the figure here yesterday when briefing the Inspector General of Police Said Mwema on the accident who was accompanied by Tanzania People’s Defence Forces Chief General Davis Mwamunyange.
IGP Mwema said the government has decided to bring in rescuers from abroad to assist in the search for any more bodies trapped in the boat.
Zanzibar government said MV Spice Islander was overloaded before it capsized at Nungwi area in Zanzibar.
Speaking to journalists here yesterday Minister of State, Second Vice President Office Mohammed Aboud Mohammed said that the boat had the capacity of carrying 600 passengers and 500 tonnes of cargoes.
But according to the passenger’s manifest 610 passengers boarded the boat at Zanzibar port while 166 boarded at Dar es Salaam port including 65 children.
He said government has also decided to bury 39 people who were not identified.They were buried at Kama area in Unguja –West district.
He added that the government has also prepared 134 graves at Kama area which will be used to bury people who will not have been identified by their relatives.
He further explained that Maisara Disaster Centre which was established for relatives to identify bodies has been closed and other bodies which will be recovered will be buried immediately, noting that records will be kept for searching relatives.
The government will today hold a special prayer at Maisara grounds for the people who died in the accident and the victims. The prayers will be led by Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein.
He however said that the captain of the ill-fated ship Said Kinyenyeta was yet to be found, but a technician with the vessel Injima Mkune was being questioned by police.
Meanwhile, the National Social Security Fund (NSSSF) has donated 13m/- to help in the rescue mission—out of which, 10m/- would go to the government and 3m/- to support burial activities.
The financial assistance was presented by NSSF Senior Public Relations Officer, Juma Kintu, who said the social security scheme was touched by the impact of the incident on people’s lives.
Zanzibar social security fund has contributed 10m/- which was presented by fund’s public relations officers, Raya Hamdani, while the mobile phone company, TIGO donated food worth 5m/- to the victims.
Minister Aboud said the Union government gave 300million/- to support activities and operations related to the tragic marine accident.
Meanwhile the Director of Zanzibar Port Authority, Mustafa Aboud Jumbe distanced himself from blame, saying the authority was not responsible in overseeing marine transport services (passengers and cargo).
Speaking to our sister newspaper, Nipashe yesterday, Jumbe said “This is the duty of the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA), which was established by the law to oversee marine and surface transport sectors.”
Sumatra stopped operations in Zanzibar after Members of the House of Representatives claimed that the authority was operating illegally, as marine transport services was not on the list of Union matters.
Efforts to get director of Zanzibar marine transport, Vuai Haji, did not bear fruit, as his mobile phone was not answered.
In July, this year, Minister of Communications and Transport, Hamad Masoud presented a special report in the House of Representatives, defending marine transport facilities in Zanzibar, saying they did not pose any threat to the lives of travellers.
The minister was responding to the growing public concerns, after seven ships plying Zanzibar developed technical faults.