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Another tragedy on Volta Lake

boat

boat

At least 20 people were feared drowned last Sunday when two boats capsized on the Volta Lake during a storm. The dead were mostly women and children.

Fourteen other children and three adults, including a pregnant woman, were rescued and have been admitted to the Anfoega Catholic Hospital in the North Dayi district.

One of the boats, conveying mourners, including school children from Wusuta Tornu to communities along the Afram Plains, capsized that Sunday, October 18. Raphael Nani Kuma, a teacher of the Torgame D/A Primary School, who was on one of the boats, told reporters from his hospital bed Tuesday that the pupils were attending the funeral of a colleague.

He said the school hired the boat from Afram Plains to Wusuta Tornu for the funeral. Mr Kuma said on Sunday morning when they contacted the boat which took them to the funeral to send them back to Afram Plains, the owner refused to send them with the excuse that he had decided to return on Monday.

Mr. Kuma said they pleaded with the boat owner and his assistant to send them back because the children would have to attend school the following day but he insisted on leaving on Monday morning. According to him, a religious group Go Ye Faith, was sympathetic to their plight and hired two boats, one of which was without an outboard motor and set sail between 3 pm and 4:30 pm.

Mr. Kuma said at about 6:30pm he realized that the weather was not favorable for them to continue the journey and informed the boat owners and assistants to stop at the next community along the lake but they refused. At 7pm when it was stormy and the boats were capsizing, the two boat owners and their assistants jumped from their boats and swam ashore leaving them to their fate. Mr Kuma said some people in the boat managed to rescue 17 people including 14 children and two adults and a pregnant woman.

When newsmen arrived in the town, people from other communities on hearing of the incident arrived to console them. There was a group drumming, singing, dancing and chanting to support some divers who were in the Lake searching for more drown bodies.

Kwame Kotoku, paramount stool father of Wusuta Traditional Area, Emmanuel Afelete, Assembly Member for Wusuta electoral area, and David Adai, unit committee member, corroborated Mr. Kuma’s story.

They said when they informed the Vakpo and Anfoega police for assistance they said they lacked logistics and even refused to accompany them to the scene. At the time of leaving the community at about 11:15am the divers had not arrived.

Source: modernghana.com

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