Trees don’t just fall – Expert bemoans poor safety in Kintampo waterfall tragedy

A safety expert, Samuel Kofi, has bemoaned a weak commitment to safety following the Kintampo waterfall tragedy which has left at least 18 students dead.

The tragedy occurred when strong winds buffeted a nearby tree hurling it down on frenzied revellers. More than a dozen are critically injured.

Kintampo waterfalls

Discussing the disaster, the expert who is with the Institute of Safety and Environmental Professionals faulted safety systems, stressing that ‘accidents don’t just happen’ and ‘trees don’t just fall’.

Mr. Kofi said a robust safety system should have identified the dangers posed by the location of the tree and authorities in charge should have known the age of the tree and the soil system around it.

Kintampo waterfalls

He added that a mindset of risk assessment should have factored in the possibility of the tree falling, where it is likely to fall and what danger it is likely to pose when it does fall.

Mr. Kofi said the popular refrain when accidents happen in Ghana is ‘we blame nature, we blame the devil’.

Kintampo waterfalls

The safety expert said in the UK, there are laws like corporate manslaughter act under which persons are held liable when disasters like the freak tragedy at Kintampo happen.

He called for a comprehensive safety audit of all tourist sites to determine what needs to be done to avert disasters waiting to happen.