SOS: Residents Cry For Life Jackets After Four Drowned

The only survivor of the Binbinni canoe disaster, Abdullai Abuba, wants the National Disaster Management Organization (Nadmo) to support Binbinni and other communities along the river banks with life jackets.

Though he accepts the adventure that surrounded the death of four others, three of whom his siblings, was bizarre, he believes they would all have survived if they had life jackets.

Abdulai Abuba together with his siblings Tahiru Yidana, Abudu Haruna, Abdul-Samed Abdulai, and one Rauf Tanko wanted to go to Wungu for the Jummah prayers on Friday, September 15 by crossing the Binbinni River.

Tanko, apparently a novice in canoe operation, volunteered to steer a canoe found on the bank of the river, which is a tributary of the White Volta.

The canoe was without its owner and paddles.

The five decided to use their cutlasses as paddles and began their adventure to Wungu without the slighted idea that the boat had a leakage.

Not long after going onshore, the canoe began to spill water from beneath. It capsized, drowning all but Abdulai Abuba, who managed to tie one of his feet to the boat.

He was rescued around Bulbiya, a nearby community by staff of Nadmo’s Operation Thunderbolt, which had pitched camp in the district ahead of the Bagre Dam spillage.

Media General’s Northern Region correspondent, Zubaida Ismail, quizzed Abuba why he and his siblings would attempt boarding a boat without the owner and paddles.

“We were getting late for the Jummah prayers,” he responded, “and had no option since we had to be part of the Friday ritual.”

“We paddled the canoe with our cutlasses and we were fine until we saw water coming into the canoe from the down.

“It was at that point we remembered we should have taken a bowl for scooping which is usually found in most canoes here”.

Some residents, who spoke to Media General’s reporter attributed Friday’s disaster to the opening of the Bagre Dam.

But the Acting West Mamprusi District Nadmo Coordinator, Nabila Yussif, refuted their claims revealing, “the Bagre Dam hasn’t been spilled yet”.

“This was as a result of the rise in the Volta Lake due to the rains we recorded during the week and the fact that the five decided to still board the canoe without the helmsman and safety precautions.”

Meanwhile, the bodies of the four have been retrieved and given to families for burial, according to Islamic traditions.

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