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Opinions of Monday, 15 March 2021

Columnist: Stephen Bernard Donkor

Will Ghana learn from the Apam drowning incident?

File Photo: 12 teenagers died from the drowning incident at Apam File Photo: 12 teenagers died from the drowning incident at Apam

In 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) data on Ghana’s drowning deaths stood at 1,206. During that time, there were quite a number of interviews on radio and television on how to avert the negative trend. Three years down the line, the reality stares at us. Will Ghana learn from the Apam drowning incident? I am saddened by the control mechanism in this country.

Anytime, I visit our beaches, I come across kids between the ages of 7 -15 swimming. It is a worrying development that needs a pragmatic approach to curb it. My heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the Apam drowned victims and all other families who might have lost their loved ones to this catastrophe over the years.

Indeed, affected families of the tragedy are yet to come to terms with it. This reminds me of one thing my country lacks. It is the usual control mechanism. Who checks who during swimming? Who ensures that there is a laid down mechanism for swimming in the sea? The only thing we are good at is set a committee to investigate after the occurrence of a disaster. What is wrong with us as a people? Can't we in anyway find a lasting solution to this preventable disaster?

I am of the conviction that if parents would admonish their wards against unnecessary swimming expedition with their peers, it will go a long way to minimise future happenings. The government must instigate the police to arrest children between the ages of 7 – 15 found swimming in the sea. When this is done, fear will be instilled and the cases will reduce.

Some media practitioners must stop the unnecessary reportage on women with big booty and boobs. It doesn't stop the disaster. Enough of this cheap journalism we're seeing on social media each and every now and then. Anyone at all gets hold of microphone and starts promoting nudity. Have we lost our sense of reasoning as a people? What are we portraying to our young girls? Nudity is the way to stardom, I guess. Hear this, any piece of Journalism that doesn't shape a way of life is a mere noise.

Ghana doesn't benefit. We are in trying times as a nation and you see social media journalists promoting nudity. If all these social media journalists will take it upon themselves to do documentaries on the dangers associated with drunk swimming and lack of monitoring on our beaches, the usual reports on 12 drowned at Apam and elsewhere will be expunged.

This, I believe will go a long way to bring the drowning deaths to the barest minimum. Let's cherish our human resource. As His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo addo said "we know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life”.

Indeed, Ghana has a long way to go but it is incumbent on the citizenry to expedite matters by way of focusing on changing the status quo. So I quiz “will Ghana learn from the Apam drowning incident”?

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