Two pupils drown in galamsey pit at Meretweso

Two primary pupils have drowned in an abandoned mining pit filled with water, which serves as a source of water for some residents of Meretweso, a town near Dunkwa in the Central Region.

The two, 11-year old Hagar Afari and eight year-old Emmanuella Mensah had gone to the site Thursday evening with others to fetch water for use the next morning when Emmanuella drowned.

Hagar is said to have also drowned at a deeper side of the pit in an attempt to rescue Emmanuella, TV3’s Spencer K. Boateng Mensah reported.

The incident happened at about 4:30pm and it was until after an hour later that rescuers managed to retrieve the two from the pit and were rushed to the Meretweso CHPS Compound where they were confirmed dead, he added.

Emmanuella and Hagar are class two and three pupils of St. Andrew School and Meretweso Basic School respectively.  Emmanuella was the last and fifth child of Joseph Mensah, a carpenter and Afua Nipaa, a farmer.

Hagar on the other hand was the first of two children of Afari Dominic, a lotto agent and Patience Poku, also a farmer.

TV3 gathered although the town has access to pipe-borne water residents prefer to fetch water from the abandoned mining pitch due to the money they have to pay for fetching the potable water. A mining company is said to have left land on which the pit sits un-reclaimed in October 2015 after it ended its operations.

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The abandoned galamsey pit filled with water from which pupils in the town fetch water to bath for school

According to the residents, water from the pit has become the main source of bathing water for the pupils in the town. “The two and several others fetch water from the pit at the abandoned galamsey site to bath to school everyday,” Spencer reported.

On Friday, the town was thrown into a state of mourning when the bodies of the two were released to their families for burial. At a short burial ceremony at their schools’ premises to cancel their names from the schools’ register, pupils and residents burst out into uncontrollable tears as a roll call was made.

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Even the adults in the town could not hold back their tears as they file-past the remains of the two before their burial.

It was a sad moment as the bodies of the two minors were placed in a coffin for both pupils and residents to pay their last respect to the two. Tears rolled down the cheeks of the pupils who apparently could not come to terms with the fact that it was the last time they will be seeing their mates for the rest of their lives.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Twitter @steviekgh

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