Information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that three pupils of New Asuoyaa, a small farming community near Akropong in the Akuapem North Municipality of the Eastern Region, have since last year died while swimming across the Densu River to school.
Reports said the pupils, some as young as three years, had had to swim across the river each day in order to access education.
A team of journalists during a tour of the community at the weekend, saw that the only footbridge across the Densu River had broken down for several years now and efforts to get the authorities to repair or replace it had proven futile.
The pupils, some of who walk from villages such as Miawani Bebowso, Kotobaabi, Domeabra and Abrodiemu, are all compelled to swim before they go to school.
Some of the affected children who were interviewed by the newsmen expressed worry about the situation, adding that they were forced to return home when the river overflows it banks
Commuters Scores of the villagers, who spoke to the journalists, decried the situation, especially as it was affecting their small scale businesses.
According to them, whenever, it rained heavily their children did not go to school for more than two weeks; and foodstuffs were also left in the farms because there is no other means of transport.
The residents hinted that the MP for the area donated a canoe to assist them cross the river, but it got spoiled and had not been replaced.
The Chief of New Asuoyaa, Opanyin Bekoe, expressed disappointment in government for the total neglect of the area. He noted that the situation had accounted for absenteeism and truancy in school because the children are left with no other option than to stay home to save their lives.
Opanyin Bekoe added that some of the children had contracted water-borne diseases.
The Akuapem North Municipal Chief Executive, George Opare Addo, in a reaction, said that the issue of either repairing or replacing the dilapidated bridge was beyond the capability of the assembly.
He said his outfit would consult the central government to come to their aid.
Source: Daily Guide
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