THE DROWNING of eight school children, five boys and three girls, as they headed for school on the Volta Lake is heart-wrenching.
The story, as narrated by an assemblyman and a NADMO official, suggests as it appears in this issue that, the kids would not have died had a school been within their locality. But no, on daily basis especially during high tides, they have to ride on canoes to attend school, a risk which ended on that fateful day when they drowned.
The trip from Atikagope to Woyokope in the Sene East District in the Bono East Region was necessary because there was no school for the kids to attend in their area.
As we share in the grief of the bereaved families, we shall be quick to add that government should ensure that a modern school is built in the town so that other children in the locality would be spared the hassle and risks of riding on canoes to seek education.
Let the local authorities initiate the necessary arrangements to have a school built by being consistent with the follow-ups required in such matters lest red-tape stalls it.
With the eight kids now dead, the only thing that can be done in their memory is improve the living standards in the town in which they lived and to ensure that safety measures are taken on the lake to obviate future recurrence.
There have been many deaths through drowning on the Volta Lake a situation occasioned in many instances by lack of sufficient safety measures and trained lifeguards.
The issue of safety on water bodies especially, on the Volta Lake, is something which we have not taken as serious as we should.
We can recall the training of lifeguards and the charge on them to promote safety on the Volta Lake last year.
It is our wish that many more lifeguards would be trained to man the lake and save lives at places prone to such fatalities.
People should not die through drowning under flimsy circumstances as the kids did.
The circumstances under which the kids drowned sound too simply and therefore mind-boggling. One of the kids was said to have tried to scoop water to drink as the canoe moved along. His weight tilted the canoe and he dropped into the water. As the fisherman who was only helping the kids to cross over to the other bank and proceed to school, tried to save the kid the boat capsised. So sad a story especially when viewed against the fact that they could have been saved had there been lifeguards around at the time. May their souls rest in peace.