Monday, September 12, 2011

Meli MV. Spice Islander Ulikuwa Mkweche/TakaTaka!

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
Wadau, habari ya kuzama kwa meli MV Spice Islande imekuwa habari ya kimataifa. Inaelekea kuwa hiyo meli MV Spice Islander ilikuwa meli ambayo isingeruhusiwa kufanya kazi katika nchi za magharibi kutokana na ubovu wake. Meli iliundwa mwaka 1967 huko Ugiriki. Imefanya kazi katika nchi kadhaa na kuhribika mara kadhaa kabla ya kufika Tanzania. Ilikuwa na majina, Mariana, na Apostolos P kabla ya kuitwa Spice Islander I nchini Honduras. Hapa Tanzania, uchu wa pesa  na kujaza hiyo meli nzee kupindukia imesabisha meli iseme, mie basi tena, bora nizame kuliko niendelee!   Halafu cha kuchekesha zaidi eti serikali ya Zanzibar inasema kuwa hawajui nani anamiliki hiyo meli!   Kwa hiyo hela ya nauli, mizigo ilikuwa inaenda kwa nani? Mwenye meli alikuwa halipi kodi? Soma habari zifuatazo.

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
Awful Tanzanian Vessel Death Toll Could Have Been Worse

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.


Anonymous said...

Saturday’s sinking of a ferryboat off the coast of Unguja Island with the loss of almost 200 lives brings to the fore a very pertinent question: were any lessons learnt from the May 21, 1996 MV Bukoba disaster in Lake Victoria in which close to 1,000 people died?

It is hard not to draw comparisons between the two incidents given that factors behind the accidents bear an uncanny resemblance.

As expected, the Zanzibar government has performed the ritual of forming a committee to investigate the disaster, but corroborated survivor accounts are virtually unanimous that overloading and the poor state of the vessel were to blame for the isles’ worst maritime accident. The same reasons were cited after the MV Bukoba disaster.

It is over 15 years since the ship travelling Bukoba to Mwanza sank within sight of the destination port with colossal loss of life and Saturday’s accident, raises queries as to whether comprehensive measures were taken in the intervening period to avert a repeat of the Lake Victoria disaster. In fact, we voiced our concern in an editorial on April 27, 2009 following a spate of accidents in the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria.

It was clear from the casual way authorities in both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar continued to handle marine safety issues in the wake of the MV Bukoba tragedy that another disaster was waiting to happen, and our worst fears were confirmed on Saturday when the poorly maintained MV Spice Islander capsized 30km from Zanzibar port while on its way to Pemba.

The blatant violation of maritime safety rules is especially frightening in Zanzibar where ferry operators seem to have been left to their own devices. Events leading up to Saturday’s disaster are proof of this, if any were needed.

Nobody raised a finger as the vessel was being crammed with passengers and cargo under the cover of darkness and then, listing dangerously, sailed out on its fateful journey.

Tanzania has been plunged into mourning by yet another maritime disaster, but whether lessons will be drawn from it is anybody’s guess.

Anonymous said...

Tume iliyoundwa ni ya kutuliza hasira na haina uhusiano wowote wa kiufundi au kitaaluma. Huu ndio mwendo wa serikali yetu kufanyia kazi matukio na si kubuni mbinu za kukabiliana na matukio.

Naseama ni tume isiyo na uhusiano na tukio kwasababu tayari tunaambiwa mmiliki alikuwa hajulikani, na mara tunasikia kepteni wa meli hakuwa nwenyewe bali dei waka. Ni kutokana na mambo kuwa ya kificho ndio maana hata vyombo vya taifa vilizuiwa kutoa taarifa kwani serikali JMT na SMZ zilijua ni bomu.

Hakuna sababu ya tume! tuna polisi, SUMATRA, bandari Dar na Unguja, tuna waongoza meli. Hawa wote wana majibu ya tukio.
1.Meli imesajiliwa wapi na nani. (2)Meli ina ukubwa gani na uwezo gani kuchukua abiria na mizigo(3) Abiria wangapi walipakia Dar(4)mizigo kiasi gani ilipakiwa Dar(4)Ikiondoka dar captain alikuwa ni nani (5) Ilipoondoka dar hali ya usalama ilikuwaje(6)ilipofika Unguja iliongeza abiria kiasi gani na mizigo kiasi gani(7) nani wakala wa tiketi Dar na Unguja na makusanyo hayo yalikuwa yanalipiwa kodi kwa utaratibu gani.(8) Nani aliondoa meli Zbar
(9) Nani alikuwa na wajibu wa kuangalia idadi ya abiria na mizigo (10) Chombo kilifanyiwa service lini na nani kwa mara ya mwisho
(11).......n.k n.k

Kuunda tume maana yake kuwa na muda wa kulindana si kutafuta ufumbuzi, kama ni ufumbuzi uzembe huu kama ule wa MV Bukoba ungeshapatiwa dawa na usingejirudia. Kila mara huwa nasema tume maana yake ,To buy the time , to quel the anger and protect the interest

Anonymous said...

rrible. These people live with conditions on a daily basis that WE can't imagine. This is a terrible tragedy. For all of you who have anything else to say, consider how lucky you are to be living in a country where daily survival is not a constant unremitting struggle. The Tanzanians are tough, beautiful people who will recover. God preserve them and comfort them in this moment of crisis...