Officials Report Over 90 Fatalities in Mozambique Ferry Tragedy

Local officials have reported that over 90 individuals perished when a ferry capsized off Mozambique’s northern coast. In Nampula province, it was confirmed that out of approximately 130 passengers believed to be on the ferry, only five were rescued.

According to Nampula’s Secretary of State Jaime Neto, the victims were escaping a cholera epidemic, and many of the deceased were children. Neto attributed the tragedy to the ferry being overloaded and not suitable for transporting passengers, leading to its sinking. Social media featured an unconfirmed video displaying numerous bodies along a beach. The ferry journeyed from Lunga to Mozambique Island, which lies off Nampula’s coast, as reported by the Portuguese broadcaster RTP. This area has been severely impacted by a cholera outbreak affecting several countries in southern Africa since January of the previous year.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) describes this cholera outbreak as the most severe in 25 years, with Mozambique registering 13,700 confirmed cases and 30 fatalities since October 2023. Additionally, an Islamist insurgency in the neighboring Cabo Delgado province has resulted in at least 4,000 deaths and displaced nearly a million people over the past six years. Mozambique Island, once Portuguese East Africa’s capital for almost 400 years during colonial times, is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, celebrated for its colonial-era architecture and historical significance as a trading hub.

About Geraldine Boechat 2711 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia