The bodies of ten children who drowned in southern Rwanda on July 17, 2023 have been recovered. Photo: Reuters

Rwandan authorities have recovered the bodies of ten children who drowned in Nyabarongo River in the southern part of the country on Monday.

Alice Kayitesi, the governor of Southern province, told the Associated Press the students had just returned from school after holidays, and were reportedly accompanying an adult on an errand when the accident happened.

The incident occurred at Mushisiro in Muhanga district at 5pm. The ten bodies of the children aged between 11 and 15 were retrieved on Tuesday and Wednesday, Kayitesi said.

The boat had a total of 14 people including a 41-year-old man who was steering the vessel, when it keeled over.

Transporting roofing material

The man, identified as Jean-Pierre Ndababonye, and three children were rescued, police said on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson John Bosco Kabera said Nbababonye had rented a boat and asked 13 children to accompany him to a neighbouring village across the river, where they would assist him offload roofing material for sale.

The vessel capsized while en route to Ndaro village in Ngororero district.

“Four people, including Ndababonye, survived,” Kabera said, adding that: “Ndababonye is in police custody for questioning.”

TRT Afrika and agencies