Do you careth not, when we perish?

Our appetite, as a country, to major in the minors and vice versa is becoming unacceptably loud. We are now lost sheep, whose leader is struggling in the open to rescue us.

Besides the illegal mining, which has torn this country with concomitant effects being visited on us with no solution in hand, one issue which is of grave worry to me, but which is almost treated with disdain, is the murder on our rivers.

One of the country’s means of transportation is the water bodies.

Yet, seemingly, that sector is neglected, while greater attention is paid on the roads with organisations bombarding the populace mainly with the number of accidents recorded in a year.

But the water transport, which records startling statistic on daily, weekly and monthly basis is left for the assembly members, DCEs and in rare cases regional ministers.

About 20 schoolchildren in the island communities, whose only crime, was to seek for knowledge had perished.

These children, who live in these fishing and farming communities risk their lives on the lakes daily because their communities are without schools.

The parents of these children, who want education for them, always make the attempt to let them acquire one by being “accomplices” in this “crime”.

Then in what has been the norm, the lives of these children are ended abruptly. When life is snapped out of these knowledge-seeking children, the assemblyman would mobilise the community members to look for their bodies, then some rites are performed.

The media would come up with screaming headlines such as ’10 perish in canoe accident, “12 pupils drown in River Pra’ etc”.

During the burial of these national human resources, officialdom is invited to give speeches and make mouthwatering promises, including the commitment to build ultra-modern or state-of-the-art educational facilities for the affected communities.

On so many occasions they recite the role of education as very crucial in the nation’s socio-economic development. Then they run to base and end of story.

A country which is mindful of the significance of its human resource must not toy with these children.

Chalking up these gains must not be a walk in the park, it must be deliberate. I feel distraught anytime the lives of these children are taken away from them.

In most cases, one family loses as many as three children just at a snap of the finger!

In this country where prioritising what is so important first, will it be far-fetched to construct schools in those island communities to avoid these avoidable calamities? It is doable!

Just as we are at it, only last Thursday nine schoolchildren were reported to have drowned at Faanaa, an island community near Bortianor in the Ga South Municipality after the canoe transporting them from school capsised in a canal last Wednesday afternoon.

Read also: 12-year-old was paddling canoe that drowned 9 schoolchildren at Bortianor

The reports have it that of the bodies of the children aged between one-and-half and 12 years were recovered at about 6 p.m. that same day of the incident, while the last one, a female named only as Victoria, was retrieved last Thursday at about 11:30 a.m.

The deceased – three males and six females – were part of a group of 12 children who were on board the canoe when it capsised.

However, the remaining three, including the paddler of the canoe, survived the disaster.

The children, who lived with their parents and guardians at Faanaa near Bortianor in Ga South, are pupils of a private school at Wiaboman behind Pambros Salt Industries in the Weija-Gbawe Municipality.

The children were crossing a canal which separates Faanaa from Wiaboman after school when the incident occurred.

As usual there was the presence of an array of officialdom; the Weija-Gbawe Municipal Chief Executive, Patrick Kumor; the Member of Parliament (MP) for Weija-Gbawe, Tina Mensah; the Ga South Municipal Chief Executive, Joseph Yarni Stephen; the Weija police commander, Freeman Kumashie, and NADMO officials who had also gone to the scene of the disaster and visited the affected families to commiserate with them.

A committee will soon be inaugurated to investigate the incident but I bet you, no concrete solution will come out of what is considered as talk show.

The next meeting will be, God forbid, when another incident occur.

Do you careth not, when we perish? I ask with a shaky voice.

Timothy Gobah, Daily Graphic, Accra