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Regional News of Friday, 18 October 2019


Search for 4-year-old-boy in River Popon enters day 3

It has been over 48 hours without success as divers comb through the Popon river for a four-year-old boy – dead or alive.

It is sketchy what led the boy, Oswald Nartey, to the river that has overflown its banks at Torgodo, a community in the Yilo Krobo Municipaliy of the Eastern Region.

Some residents claimed they saw the child playing around a feeble bridge on the river but slipped into the deepest part of the river; and has since been missing.

The incident occurred morning around 10am on Wednesday October 16, 2019.

Days of torrential rains have caused a rise in the level of the river which is about covering the bridge.

The mother of the child and the entire community have been devastated by the incident.

“I left him home to the farm, only to receive a call that my son has drowned, I need to see his body, alive or dead,” mother of the boy Janet Abena wails as she spoke to’s Eastern regional correspondence Yvonne Neequaye.

A local diver, James Nartey said he and his colleagues have spent hours in the river searching for the four-year-old boy.

The bridge the boy was playing around links the Torgodo community to Abonsra and Nyamebekyere communities, all in the Yilo Krobo Municipaliy.

The bridge does not completely cut across the river as residents from Abonsra have to walk some distance through river Popon before catching it to Torgodo.

Children of school going age between four and ten have stopped going to school for fear of drowning.

Residents including school children and women carrying babies risk their lives daily walking through the river before getting to the bridge from Abonsra.

“Our kids suffer a lot going to school” a resident said, adding, “it’s terrible walking through the river to seek health care, our kids have stopped going to school for fear of drowning.”

Our correspondent Yvonne dared walking through the river from Abonsra to the bridge but had to be carried due to the river’s depth as she is challenged by height and not being a good swimmer too.

The Dademantse of the area Alex Tetteh, wants The Yilo Krobo Municipality to quickly provide them a safer bridge.

“We produce lots of crops here, our women have to carry loads walking through the river, else families won’t be fed, we need help now.”

Candidate contesting for the assembly membership in the area, Stephen Nyumutsu told Yvonne he will make the reconstruction of the bridge a priority, noting it ought to be executed with urgency.

“What we urgently need as an interim measure is a long footbridge for pupils and everyone to use as we wait for a standard one.”

Torgodo has a population of over 500 including children.

The Popon river is their only source of water for domestic use as well as harvested rains.

Residents of Torgodo and its environs are farmers who contribute largely to the food basket of the Yilo Krobo municipality.