Student drowns attempting to fetch water from abandoned pit

BY: Picture & story by Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu & Andrew Tetteh, DIABENE

A final-year student of the Diabene Secondary Technical School, Bernard Aikins, drowned last Saturday in a pit which serves as a source of water for boarding students of the school.

The pit is at an abandoned quarry site.

He had gone to the site, in the company of his friends, that Saturday afternoon to wash his clothes and bath,  since the taps in the school were not running. 

In the course of washing, Aikins attempted to fetch one more bucket of water but,  in the process, he slipped into the abandoned pit, about the size of a football field, and within seconds he was nowhere to be found.

Students of the school staged a demonstration yesterday to protest the death of their mate and that led to a temporary suspension of academic activities.

At the school

When the Daily Graphic arrived at the school about 8 a.m. yesterday, the students, in their school uniforms and wearing red armbands, were chanting war songs and shouting, "We want water! We want water! We want water!!!"

Ghana News Headlines

For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page

 Narrating the incident, some of the students indicated to the Daily Graphic that when Aikins slipped into the pit, his friends had expected him to surface but when there was no sign of him after a while, some of them ran to the hostel to seek help.

Some good Samaritans responded but after they had dived into the pond several times, they  brought up Aikins’s lifeless body.


When the news of Aikins’s death got to the rest of the students, they became agitated.

According to some of them, they were charged for water and electricity as part of their school fees but the school authorities had failed to provide water for the various residential facilities rented as dormitories for the boarding students.

The headmaster of the school, Mr Debrah Sarpong, was not on the compound, as he was reported to have gone to the police to invite them to protect school property.

The Western Regional Director of Education, Nii Lantey Cleland, who visited the school, described the incident as unfortunate.

Nii Lantey, who was surprised that the school was not providing water for the students, impressed on the student leaders to calm down and forward their grievances to him.

 He promised that the educational authorities would investigate the incident and find a solution to the water problem in the school.