Ten schoolchildren have died in a tragic canoe accident. The incident occurred on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Faanaa-Wiabomaa, an isle in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra region of Ghana.
According to eyewitnesses who spoke to TV3 Ghana, the schoolchildren perished after a boat transporting them to school capsized.
One eyewitness, Kofi Osei, a drinking bar owner near the Weija River, said he knows the victims and saw what happened.
Narrating the incident, Kofi said: “The incident happened around 5 p.m. yesterday. The children always cross the river from Faanaa to Wiabomaa school.”
“Some of the children came by my shop after closing from school but two minutes later, I heard a cry from the river. When I approached the river, I saw two bodies lying down; one breathing and the other lifeless. I tried performing CPR on the one breathing but gave up the ghost.”
“We then called people from the other village to search for the bodies of the rest of the victims,” he disclosed.
According to Kofi Osei, this is not the first time such an incident had happened in the area. He said it happens often but authorities have failed to be proactive about the menace.
“This often happens here,” he said. “Recently, a white person died and when we called NADMO, they didn’t come. We had to dig the ground and bury the person.”
“Another person, a mentally challenged man died here and nothing was done. I had to call the police to pick up the corpse,” he disclosed.
The incident has caused outrage among Ghanaians on social media. Many have blamed the government for sitting aloof while these tragic incidences claim the lives of citizens.
“Imagine kids crossing this river all the time to and from school and no provisions have been made for them not even life jackets. Really disheartening,” an Instagram user said.
“This incident’s loss of life is truly terrible. My heart goes out to the families that have been affected. It is critical that the government invest in safer modes of transportation, such as railways, to avoid similar accidents in the future,” another user said.
One user called the government foolish: “Foolish leaders we have, they can’t even make bridges for our children to cross and get to school. They get angry when we tell them to do their own work.”