According to authorities searching for victims of a boat accident that occurred on Sunday evening at Kiira Dam have recovered the body of five-year-old Amira Alwi at Bujagali Falls, while the lone boater who had come to rescue the drowning family remains missing.
Police in Jinja City on Monday confirmed the death of Ms Shakira Kaweesi, who was buried on Monday in Mbarara while her husband Hassan Alwi and nine-year-old son Jafalu Alwi survived.
Kiira region police spokesperson, Mr Abbey Ngako, on Tuesday said the girl’s body was discovered after they intensified their search around the Bujagali area.
Amira Alwi and Her Mother Shakira Kaweesa( courtesy photo)
However, while police and multiple sources have not named the missing boater, Mr Ngako confirmed that the search for him has also been ‘intensified’.
Earlier, Mr Richard Drabe, a private guard attached to Pearl Security who was overseeing security at the dam and also witnessed the incident, said he saw a woman who was carrying a baby fall into the water as an unknown man who was coming from behind in a canoe boat tried to rescue them to no avail.
According to Mr Luke Ibudire, a security officer at Eskom Uganda, the boat in which the family was travelling developed an engine failure and so did the engine of the boat that had come to rescue their rescue.
However, Mr Fred Obura, a tour guide at the Source of the Nile, described such a coincidence as ‘normal’.
“That situation is normal and happens especially when the water levels have gone up; in this case the current was strong and the spillways were open,” Mr Obura said.
Meanwhile, another security guard, who witnessed the incident, but declined to be named so that he speaks freely, said the boy was retrieved with only his undergarments, suggesting that he had taken off his pair of pants before jumping off the boat in order to swim easily; while the father’s life jacket reportedly got stuck on a rock which he was found hanging on to.
Mr Hassan Omar, a cousin to Mr Alwi, said the nine-year-old survivor was still in shock and asked for privacy as they make sense of the tragedy.