Over 300 school children from C.K Korpe and surrounding island communities in the Biakoye District in the Oti Region risk their lives daily by crossing the Volta Lake to access education in Tapa Abotoase due to lack of school in those communities.
The children are crowded on daily basis on the canoes by the canoe owners to save cost. The children are ferried on the canoes free of charge so the owners do not have to make several trips in conveying them across the river.
When the Ghanaian Times visited the area yesterday it was alleged that more than three school children lost their lives every year due to the practice of overcrowding on the canoes and boats used in transporting them.
According to a philanthropist and founder of Xornametor Foundation, an NGO, Torgbe Bubune Xornametor I, the children had to endure the harsh cold morning conditions daily in crossing the river thereby risking their lives to access education.
He explained that parents and residents in the area continue to lament the condition under which their children go to school in an overcrowded canoe every day, a situation they say was alarming and fear losing their children like other parents in the past.
Torgbe Bubune said he considered education as key to the rapid development of society, for which reason his organisation had taken issues concerning children’s education more seriously.
He said he had donated GH¢10,000 to the community to construct a three unit pavilion for C.K Korpe community to start a school for the children to save them from perilous canoe journey every morning.
The Biakoye District Chief Executive, Ms Millicent Kabuki Carboo, reacting to the concerns raised, reiterated government’s commitment in making sure that the educational needs of the children were met.
She added that last year the assembly provided about 100 life jackets to the Canoe and Boat Owners Association and, therefore, surprised that they were not being used on the boats.
She promised to visit the area to see how the problem could be addressed.
The Assemblyman for the area, David Kotoka earlier, lamented the many lives that have been lost as a result of crossing the river especially without live jackets.
He said there were many times residents called on him to help rescue people from drowning and the most terrifying one was when they had to remove bodies drowned in the river a situation which had been a big worry to them.
FROM KAFUI GATI, TAPA ABOTOASE