Zoomlion, the leading waste-management company, has donated 3,000 life jackets to Abotoase, a suburb in the Volta Region following the recent disaster in the area.
Management of Zoomlion made this donation in order to avoid the future recurrence of such a disaster in and around the region. Last Tuesday, a boat travelling from Tapa Abotoase to Kagbanya on the Volta Lake capsised halfway through the journey. About 90 people were reported to be on the boat.
The accident-boat is still in the lake, and 26 dead bodies have been discovered out of the total that was onboard. However, the number that survived is still unknown. Mr. Philip Anim, Zoil Regional Coordinator, said the main aim of the lifejackets is to safeguard lives, and he cautioned beneficiaries to use them whenever they go on the lake in their boats.
He urged the boat owners to insist that boat passengers use the jackets, as it is the only way to safeguard them when there is an accident. He also advised the residents to keep the lake clean. Rapheal Foley Botso of the National Boat Owners Association stated that the association was formed out of the numerous disasters that have happened since 2003, and their duty is to curb these disasters.
He commended ZoomLion for taking the initiative of coming to their aid at a time they need these lifejackets to assist them in preventing such disasters. He debunked the rumour that the boat sank because it was overloaded and said: “the main cause of the accident was a tree stump that pierced the bottom of the boat.”
The District Chief Executive, Nana Akatah Louis who received the presentation, noted that there is no loading line to indicate whether the boat is being overloaded or not, and charged the boat owners to put in place better organisation to give real figures rather than speculation.
“Most people wear lifejackets upon boarding the boat; but as soon as the boat reaches upstream they remove the jackets, claiming it is too hot. However, the main idea is that everybody wears a lifejacket,” he said.
“The Maritime Authority does not have logistics and speed-boats to check people on the lake to ensure that they are still safe, and the only way we can curb these accidents is to equip the maritime authority to be doing checks,” he continued. He commended Zoil for providing the 3,000 life jackets.
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