School children in Tapa Abotoase and its surrounding communities in the Biakoye District risk their lives daily by crossing the river to access education in the bigger communities.
This is due to the lack of schools in some of the communities. The situation becomes risky because of the unavailability of a bridge across the river.
School children are on daily basis packed in the canoes like sardines because according to them, they are not supposed to pay for the canoe.
This sometimes makes the canoe capsize due to the large number of children that are loaded on board to save cost and time for the boat owners.
Many school children have lost their lives due to the practice of overcrowding on the canoes and boats used in transporting the school children, a situation which has put a lot of pressure on the parents of the children and some concerned citizens in the area.
The school children wish that the situation is changed by the authorities in order to help them have easy access to education without having to always risk their lives by crossing the river on daily basis.
The school children who have high hopes and ambitions of becoming responsible adults in the future, have appealed to the government to help construct at least a bridge across the river and also construct schools in the various communities to help them become great leaders.
“We also want to become responsible and great leaders in the future and we can only do this by having access to good education in a sound environment, but right now, we are hapless as we always have to cross this river to school,“ a student lamented.
A philanthropist, Mr Vincent Kaledzi who has over the years given help to the residents through his foundation, Xornametor Foundation noted that there is an urgent need for the government to be swift in addressing the situation in the area.
Mr Vincent Kaledzi with a stool name, Torgbui Xornametor lamented how the children have to endure harsh conditions in crossing the river, thereby always risking their lives in pursuit of quality education.
Mr Kaledzi wants the situation to be addressed urgently to improve education in the area.
“There is the urgent need for government to consider paying more attention to the educational needs of the people in these deprived communities,” Mr Vincent Kaledzi said.
Parents and residents in the area lamented having to watch their children go to school in an overcrowded canoe every day, a situation they say is alarming and they fear losing their children as has happened to other parents in the past.
The residents want action from the appropriate authorities as soon as possible to avoid more calamities in the communities and also avoid children becoming dropouts in the most populated fishing communities.
The Assemblyman for the area, David Kotoka bemoaned how many lives have been lost as a result of the crossing, especially without life jackets and congestion on the canoe.
David Kotoka noted that there were many times the residents called him to help rescue people from drowning and the most terrifying one is when they have to remove bodies drowned in the river – a situation which has been a big worry to them.
He has however appealed to the authorities to do something about the situation.
The Biakoye District Chief Executive, Millicent Kabuki Carboo in an interview reiterated government’s commitment to making sure that the educational needs of the people are met.
Millicent Kabuki Carboo said something is being done about the situation.
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