OVER loading of the engine boat and failure to provide basic safety guidelines of wearing life jackets were responsible for the Ogbaru boat mishap last week which claimed so many lives.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Jibril Dardau who disclosed this in Awka, observed that the mishap could have been averted to the necessary precautions were adhered.
He expressed shock and sadness over the incident, lamenting that it was only one of the passengers on board wore life jacket and was saved.
“We received the news of the incident with a shock because the Onitsha Area Office had countlessly carried and sensitisation on the importance of the use of life jackets among other safety guideline.
Dardau explained further that NIWA had had residential staff in all of the area offices across the federation who daily patrol water-ways for quick response to emergencies following the rising level of water which is causing flooding in parts of the country.
NIWA receives with shock, surprise and sadness as we commiserate with the people and government of Anambra State over recent boat mishap which killed many people in Umunankwo.
It will be recalled that the mishap happened at the climax of ravaging flooding in Ogbaru and added more sorrow to the communities who have lost all their belongings in the flood disaster.
Meanwhile, Dardau has commended the efforts of the state government and some patriots who assist to coushin the effects of the tragic event.