Four men have died after a canoe transporting them across the White Volta to offer Friday prayers at Binbinni in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern region capsized.
Their bodies have been retrieved by the collaborative efforts of locals and officials of Operation Thunderbolt who are currently stationed in the district capital.
Five men were on board the canoe, four lived in Wungu and traveled to the village to assist a friend on his farm.
The men had paused work on the farm and were crossing to join the Friday prayers when the rickety canoe which they reportedly paddled with cutlasses wrecked in the middle of the river and plucked them into the water.
One body was washed afloat and taken out from the river by locals before NADMO officials were informed, due to the severity of the accident.
According to NADMO officials who confirmed the incident to Starr News, one person managed to swim ashore and reported the incident to the villagers who then placed distress calls to them.
However, due to poor transportation and communication infrastructure in the region, NADMO officials traveled nearly two and half hour before reaching the community.
The team got to the village around half past 5pm and had to suspend the operation till next day.
The operation was again interrupted by morning rains and wind on Saturday, and resume later around 9am.
Two bodies were later found after a long search with boats and other installation brought to the district to deal with floodwaters yet to be spilled by authorities of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.
Police and medical officials were invited and after investigations, the bodies were released to families and have since been buried.
One person who could not be found by the search and rescue team later washed ashore at about 6:55pm several hours after the team left the community. He was found wearing Wallington boot.
He was also buried. Many people are grieving and others are still shocked.
Officials of the Disaster management body used the sad incident to educate the villagers on the need to observe safety regulations especially on the importance of wearing life jackets.
They were taken through some stimulation exercise and taught how to wear the jackets.
Ten live jackets were then presented to the villagers and advised to wear them anytime they were traveling on the river.
Canoes accident is common in much of the Northern region where poor roads condition often makes the river the only visible means of transporting goods and passengers.
The Deputy Director General of NADMO Abu Ramadan who coordinated the rescue mission expressed sadness about the incident in a message on social media to Starr News.
“Am really so sad although happy for my men to have been able to help families of the deceased to recover the bodies of their love once. This is the story of 5 men who left their farms to join the Friday Jummah prayers but as Allah will have it 4 of them got drowned in the white Volta, in a village called Binbinni in the West Mamprusi District of the northern region”, Abu mourns.
Published on 17 September 2017 | 7:20 am at Source