North Kivu governor Julien Paluku said the government-operated speed boat left from Goma at the northern tip of Lake Kivu at about 7:30 a.m for Bukavu at its southern edge on Monday. The boat capsized on Lake Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with 44 people of whom 20 were rescued.
Travel by waterways is essential for commerce and transport as the roads are few and accidents are common due to lax safety standards. In February, dozens of people went missing when an overcrowded passenger vessel sank.
During the past decade Eastern Congo was rocked with intense conflict resulting in millions dying due to war, hunger and disease.