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Opinions of Friday, 5 March 2010

Columnist: Appiah, Gifty Andoh

Reaction to the death of 2 kids at Kyebi

As I read the story in the daily Graphic on Tuesday March 2, 2010, I was filed with so much anger, I felt I would explode. I thought those deaths could have been prevented and then remembered how careless we are about children as Ghanaians, way too careless and I say this from experience and observation. The children in the typical Ghanaian society seem to have a huge role to play in his/her upkeep as though they asked to be born or chose which family to belong to.
I’m tempted so strongly to describe and discuss the restrictions I had as a child in terms of what to say, what to do, or even think, but my present mood would not allow me .All I want to do now is to get this story and the anger it brings to me, off my chest. I’m not demonizing it entirely because sometimes these restrictions are good but at other times, it kills you inside, makes “thinking out of the box” impossibility and this feeling is able to stay with you all your life.
Some fathers and mothers alike who do no ttake responsibility of their children parade them like some kind of trophy after they have struggled to make it on their own.
According to the story, two children aged 12 and 15 drowned in a dug pit filled with water which had been abandoned by illegal miners on Sunday. It continued: “Two students (pupils) of the same school were said to have gone to their mother’s farm on the other side of the degraded land and were returning home when the accident occurred”.
Here is my lay point of view analysis of the story. First of all and without prejudice, you know as I do how a 12 or 15 year old child in our part of the world looks like in terms of physic or size. Why and how will you allow just these two kids to go to the farm? If you will not think of how a frightening a bush can be, what about knowing that the farm is close to a “galamsey” operating site. Did they or anybody not think of this?i do not want to discuss the many examples of irresponsible parenthood and its devastating results because we know it better.

Ghana my motherland! I think we use children too much with the excuse of doing it for their own good? We made those children, and it is our responsibility to make them grow into responsible people. Just a little more care and these deaths could have been prevented. Just a little more love and these kinds would still be living. May their souls rest in peace.

Everyday, my heart breaks at the sight of Children even less than 12 selling “pure water” on the streets and in my own small way I try to help by buying some of the water even if I don’t need it. Sometimes, I find them in such risky places and ask myself why. Yet, my lay mind doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend the situation.

Like my grandmother, many people believe so strongly that children are jointly responsible in terms of provisions for their upkeep and its worse in our rural communities. These are beliefs they have held since time immemorial and it will be difficult to change, which is why I think the system must step in more strongly than it is presently doing. As usual I’ll always ask that we ACT to save our future. We have talked enough.
Gifty Andoh Appiah