THE long-awaited righting and subsequent retrieval of MV Nyerere that capsized in Lake Victoria 9 days ago, killing 228 people with 41 being rescued, has been completed.
And, in appreciation of the rescue work, President John Magufuli has directed that all those who participated in the salvage and recovery exercise be given 400,000/- each for their tireless efforts, during the entire time.
Works, Transport and Communication Minister, Engineer Isack Kamwelwe who has been in charge of the operations at Ukara, made the revelation at the end of the recovery exercise yesterday.
“We have come to the end of the exercise; for the entire ferry has been righted…we have managed to bring it ashore.
“I would like to extend recognition to each and every one who participated fully in the exercise from the rescue teams to ordinary people who have been here the entire time since the accident occurred,” said Eng Kamwelwe.
He observed that the exercise officially ended yesterday, only for a small part of recovering a vehicle and some of the goods that are still in the water.
The Minister also disclosed that as of yesterday contributions of over 900m/- had been deposited into the special account and over 200m/- was spent as condolence money to families who lost their relatives and those rescued from the tragedy.
On the other hand, 240m/- will be dished out to all those who fully participated during the exercise with each individual receiving 400,000/-.
Eng Kamwelwe revealed that the remaining 480m/- will be used to build three wards for children, women and male at Bwisa Health Centre to help the residents in the area.
“If the money is not going to be enough to complete the three wards, the President said that the government willissue own funds for the purpose,” noted the Minister.
Along the three wards, he pointed out that the money will also be used to build a memorial tower at Ukara Island and a small portion will be used for food for people who will remain to continue with the rest of the mopping exercise.
Eng Kamwelwe also revealed that the special account used for MV Nyerere accident donations will be closed 1pm today. He further said that the residents will now use MV Ukara, which has undergone maintenance cautioning them that the ferry only has the capacity to carry 70 passengers and no cargo.
He, however, noted that President Magufuli has dished out money for the maintenance of MV Sabasaba with a carrying capacity of 300 passengers. Soon, new engines will be purchased and installed onto the ferry to serve the people who commute between Ukara and Bugolora.
Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Mr John Mongella who was handed over the task to continue with the supervision of the remaining exercise pledged to ensure that things will return to normalcy and people have to move on with their lives. He also pledged to maintain peace and security at all times while they continue with the remaining work.
Meanwhile, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has provided 94m/- as condolences to the government of Tanzania following the MV Nyerere tragic accident in Lake Victoria. The money was handed over through the Speaker of National Assembly, Job Ndugai.
“We are grateful to EALA; they have shown a caring heart to Tanzanians,” he said, adding that Tanzania Members of Parliament have also contributed a total of 86.4m/-.