Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, late Tuesday confirmed that a boat accident had claimed 10 lives.
According to a statement from the presidency, the boat had been carrying 22 people and building materials from the Ndau Islands to Lamu. It added that the cause of the accident was due to high tides which caused the boat to capsize in the Mkanda Channel.
The country’s Red Cross reported the incident on Tuesday morning and added that they were coordinating a response with officials of Lamu county.
The President wished speedy recovery to those who were rescued and are admitted at King Fahd Hospital in Lamu.
At the time, they reported that an unknown number of people were feared dead, with the presidency’s confirmation of 10, 12 others were thus rescued. ‘‘The President wished speedy recovery to those who were rescued and are admitted at King Fahd Hospital in Lamu,’‘ the statement read.
The Lamu county police, however, gave a different account from that of the presidency. Deputy police commander, Akello Odhiambo, is quoted by AFP news agency as saying eight people were killed whiles two were missing.
‘‘Eight bodies have so far been retrieved. The bodies include one male, four females and three children,’‘ he confirmed.
He also added that 20 others were rescued by police and local divers bringing the police tally of affected persons to 30.
Boat accidents on Kenya’s coast are rare. Lamu island located in Kenya’s southeast is home to the oldest Swahili settlement in East Africa, and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.