It never rains but pours for people of Likoma Island and those that rely on water transport system. Barely a month after MV Illala was withdrawn from the Lake to undergo a routine check, MV Chilembwe has also been withdrawn from the lake after hitting a submerged rock.
Likoma district commissioner (DC) Charles Mwawembe yesterday confirmed that the vessel, which had about 100 people aboard, hit a rock on Saturday morning on its way to Likoma from Mozambique.
He said the vessel that got stuck after hitting the rock had to be towed out by MV Chambo.
“It has docked here at Likoma and people that were on the way to Nkhata Bay are jumping onto MV Chambo. It is MV Chambo that will proceed to Nkhata Bay as the Chilembwe awaits assessment and maintenance,” said Mwawembe.
He said the withdrawal of Chilembwe will heavily affect people of Likoma.
N k h a t a B a y P o l i c e spokesperson Ignatius Esau also confirmed the incident, adding that no one was hurt in the accident.
MV Chilembwe is run by Malawi Shipping Company (MSC), a subsidiary of Mota- Engil and, in interview, Mota- Engil spokesperson Thomas Chafunya, said another ship would be identified to serve the public as Chilembwe undergoes maintenance.
Asked about the status of MV Illala which was berthed, Chafunya said it was undergoing a routine check to ensure that it is sea-worthy.
He said it will resume sailing anytime soon.