Drowning drops by 67 percent in Mangochi

MANGOCHI- Drowning cases have dropped by 67 percent in the lakeshore district of Mangochi, a development Mangochi Police Station has attributed to continuous sensitization of communities along the shore.

Deputy Public Relations Officer for Mangochi Police, Amina Tepani-Daudi, disclosed this in an interview on Monday saying three cases of drowning have been reported this year against nine cases reported last year during the same period.

The whole of last year we registered 11 cases of drowning and by this time from January we had registered nine cases, explained Daudi, adding: This year, from January to present we have registered thre cases only.

The difference represents 67 percent drop and according to Daudi, the drop is expected to be maintained throughout the year up to December.

She said the decrease had been achieved due to rigorous awareness campaigns that the police have had with lakeshore communities, fishermen and resort centres on safety.

We have had a lot of sensitization meetings during the past year and we believe that has contributed to the decrease in these cases, explained Daudi.

She added: We mostly advise people to use life jackets when they go swimming and also not to go fishing when the weather is unstable.

The third incident of drowning this year occurred on Wednesday, August 8, when two fishermen encountered adverse winds on Lake Malawi and they got knocked off their canoe after it had capsized.

According to Daudi, one of the fishermen, Yamikani Khembo,25, drowned while his colleague, Ulemu Frank, made it to the shore where he mobilized rescue but it was too late.

Yamikani’s body was found trapped between rocks a few meters away from where he had drowned, she explained, adding that postmortem conducted at Monkey-bay Health Centre revealed that he had died due to suffocation.

We will continue with sensitization and we hope to reduce such incidences to very minimal levels, said Daudi, adding: Our appeal to the general public is that they must always have life jackets every time they go fishing or swimming and that they should stay away from the lake when it is rough.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

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