Residents of Samni near Nalerigu in the Northern region are angry and threatening to demonstrate against government after a 14-year-old boy drowned in an abandoned 1V1D project site in the village.
The boy, Alhassan Arisu, was killed when he joined his friends at the dam Sunday evening to swim, his brother, Seidu Damba told Starr News. He jumped into the water and could not swim, Seidu stated.
His body was recovered by local search party and other swimmers and rushed to a nearby health facility, where he was pronounced dead. The body has been handed back to the family and was buried at the site of the incident, in line with custom.
The incident has sparked anger in the community as residents blame government of creating a deadly reservoir in the village. Dozens of residents who thronged to the abandoned project site after news of the tragedy expressed anger directed at government authorities.
The dam has been the only source of drinking water for the villagers and nearby for decades but turned into a swimming pond after a truncated effort by government to develop it into a “one village one dam” site, a key poverty eradication initiative by president Akufo-Addo aimed at ensuring year-round farming in the north of the country, where rainfall patterns are so deplorable that agric activities are done once throughout the year.
Seidu Damba told Starr News the entire family is “mourning” the passing of his brother. He explained that development of the dam started on July 5, three days before the president toured the region on a three-day working visit. He said contractors abandoned the site after the president ended his tour and left the region.
According to him, some residents are forced to flee their homes anytime there is a downpour as the abandoned dam overflows it boundaries and run into properties.
The grieving brother said his family was considering filing a legal suit against government representatives in the East Mamprusi municipality and called for immediate closure of the dam.
“Initially, we had opposed to the construction of the dam because it is very closer to the community and the fear was even that in the likelihood that the dam is flooded many of the houses were going to be destroyed. First of all, we are demanding the complete closure of the dam. We will surely sue the government and contractor for negligence,” Seidu stressed.
The Municipal Chief Executive was not readily available for comments.
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