Communities around Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale and Rubanda districts are demanding the permanent deployment of Marine police on the lake to stem the increasing cases of drowning. According to residents, whenever there is an accident on the Lake, it takes police a long time to connect from Kampala to try and find the accident victims.
They believe that once the officers are stationed on the Lake it will be very easy to save many lives. According to residents, currently they depend on local divers in case of accidents yet they have limited skills. On June 26th, 2018, five people from Muko Sub County in Rubanda district drowned in Lake Bunyonyi after their canoe capsized.
Marine police from Kigo joined the rescue efforts two days after the accident. It took over ten days for all the bodies to be recovered from the lake. In August 2016, a family of five people from Rubaya Sub County in Kabale district also drowned after their canoe capsized. Marine officers arrived four days later when it was too late to save the accident victims.
Aggrey Bandebaho, a resident of Bushura in Bubaare sub county in Rubanda district, says since Lake Bunyonyi is considered the second deepest in Africa and a tourist site, there is no reason why Uganda Police shouldn't deploy marine police permanently to help in case of any drowning.
Diaz Drake Oweyesigyire, a resident of Kagarama parish also in Bubaare Sub County and a tour guide at Lake Bunyonyi, says the deployment of marine police at the Lake Bunyonyi is overdue. Owoyesigyire says that some of the victims die of drowning because of lack of skilled personnel to save them.
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Kenneth Jogo Biryabarema, the Rubanda LC V chairperson, says the numerous accidents should be sufficient for the police to deploy marine officers on the lake.
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Elly Maate, the Kigezi Region Police spokesperson, says they have already requested the Inspector General of Police to deploy a Marine unit on Lake Bunyonyi to respond to emergencies.