A burial service was held for schoolchildren who drowned at Faana
A burial service was held for schoolchildren who drowned at Faana

Why should these little ones perish?

It is said that when a disaster strikes, to some it is just news and to others it is a tragedy.

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On May 10, 2023, nine children aged one and a half to 12 years drowned while returning from school at Faana, a fishing community near Bortianor in Accra.

The way and manner officialdom received and approached this disaster appeared it was just news.

It was not on the menu for discussion on the major news outlets.

As always, politics took centre stage: the National Democratic Congress (NDC) primaries were approaching, so this national tragedy was not an agenda for discussion.

The children were buried at the Bortianor cemetery on Saturday May 20, 2023.

In attendance were the Regional Minister, the Member of Parliament, the Municipal Chief Executive of Ga South and others.

Characteristically, an amount of money was presented to the bereaved families.

Promises were made, as always, to fix the problem and prevent recurrence.

The dead cannot cry out for justice.

It is a duty of the living to do so on their behalf.

Why should we allow these innocent children to perish in such a gory manner?

Their only offence was that they were to have access to education.

Could the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other state agencies not have foreseen this danger and taken proactive action?

The amount presented to the bereaved families could have been used, proactively, to provide the necessary logistics to prevent this tragedy.

There must come a time when all our water bodies that are used as modes of transport are policed by well-trained individuals.

The 12-year-old boy paddling the canoe refused to heed advice to reduce the number of passengers in the boat.

We have an army of unemployed youth.

A number of them could be recruited and trained as marine "police" to check some of these preventable disasters on our water bodies.

Because of indifference from society these innocent children lost their lives in pursuit of education.

Jesus Christ, in the parable of the Lost Sheep, said: "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish".

We continue to allow little ones, mostly children of the poor and underprivileged, to perish in this manner.

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May this never happen again!

Rev. Richard Cudjoe, Adenta, Accra.

E-mail: [email protected] 

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