General News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Three adolescents, including two siblings, drowned in a pit at Nsakina, near Amasaman, in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra Region last Friday.
The victims, aged between 10 and 14, have been identified by their families and the police as Edward Amponsah, 10; Ernest Baffoh, 11, and Jacob Amponsah, 14.
A search party, made up of some residents of the area and worried family members, found two bodies after almost three hours of search, while the third body was found 24 hours later.
The children were said to have gone to the pit, a former site of Sonitra, an Israeli construction company, to swim against the advice of one of their playmates.
When the police were contacted, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Accra Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mrs Effia Tenge, confirmed the incident and indicated that some concerned residents who reported the incident to the Amasaman Divisional Police Command claimed the children drowned about 10:30 a.m. last Friday.
According to her, a police team was dispatched to the scene, but because it was late in the evening, the search for the third victim was put on hold until last Saturday morning.
Police investigations established that Amponsah, whose parents, identified only as Mr Amponsah and Dede, had divorced, and the children had been left in the care of a paternal uncle.
Mr Amponsah, father of the siblings and a seaman, lived with the children at Nsakina, while their mother, Dede, lived at Agbogba, near Madina in Accra.
The father of the two victims is said to have handed them over to his brother, identified as Mr Patrick Amoah, when he was leaving for his voyage.
In the case of Ernest Baffoh, the police established that his parents were also divorced, and he lived with his father, Mr George Baffoh, at Nsakina, while his mother, Madam Akua Abiba, lived in Kumasi.
The bodies of the victims have since been deposited at the Nsawam Government Hospital while investigations continue.
Some residents, outraged by the incident, have called on Sonitra and the Ga West District Assembly to take immediate action to reclaim the abandoned pits.
They claimed the three children were not the first to have lost their lives as a result of the abandoned pits.
“The pits pose a great danger to us, as residents of the area, and something must be done about the situation,” said Mr Nii Odamptey, who was a member of the search team.