23rd April 2024
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Porter dies, tons of food sink as boat capsizes in Malakal

Authors: Michael Daniel | George Joseph | Published: Monday, August 7, 2023

Boat along the Nile River (Courtesy).

At least one person has died after a vessel transporting relief aid from Juba to Malakal capsized near Malakal Port at the weekend, leading to an estimated loss of 600,000 US dollars.

Chuk Thon, head of the Upper Nile Boats Trade Union told Eye Radio that the ferry belongs to Sharo Company owned by a South Sudan national.

It was hired by a UN agency to ferry relief aid to the region.

Thon said the vessel, with 400 tons of supplies including wheat flour, cooking oil, and malnutrition food for children exceeded the capacity at 320 tons, leading to the fatal accident.

“This boat was carrying relief materials belonging to the World Food Organization (Program), coming from Juba to Malakal. The boat belonging to Sharo Company was carrying a shipment of 316 tons,” Thon said.

He identified the deceased as John Simon who was a porter at the Malakal River Port.

Thon estimates that the loss incurred could be at 600,000 US dollars adding that overloading is to blame for the accident.

“The shipment consisted of oil, flour and peanut powder for malnourished children. The person who died name John Simon worked as a loader at Malakal River port.”

“This is the first trip for this boat, and the cost of the cargo in the boat is estimated at 600.000 USD. The boat’s loading capacity is 320, but due to the overloading the boat breaks in to two parts.”

Boat accidents are commonly reported along the Nile river, with authorities often blaming such incidents on overloading.

In May 2021, Malakal Police called on the boat drivers to adhere to established capacity limits to prevent boats from capsizing.



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