- As 12 Children Drown In Kwara State
By Kenneth Jukpor
Twelve children have been confirmed dead in ghastly boat mishap in Lafiagi, Kwara State today, according to reports from the management of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
NIWA’s Management revealed this in a press release signed by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Tayo Fadile, where the Authority commiserated with the Government and People of Kwara State on the recent boat mishap in Edu Local Government Area of the State.
The press release read; “However, information made available to us by NIWA Area Manager in Minna who covers Kwara State, Surv. Abubakar M. Wathanafa visited the site of the boat mishap confirmed that twelve (12) people lost their lives, while two (2) were rescued and search and rescue efforts is still ongoing by the combine team of NIWA, Marine Police, Fire Service and Local divers”
Speaking with MMS Plus on this issue the Managing Director of NIWA, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora expressed regret at the unfortunate incident even as he appealed to the general public especially river users to adhere strictly to NIWA safety guidelines.
Although Mamora said NIWA hadn’t concluded investigations on the incident, averring to speak better when furnished with details of what transpired by the Area Manager, the NIWA helmsman lamented that non-compliance to NIWA guidelines have been responsible for most of the boat mishaps in the country.
“One thing that we (NIWA) have seen in recent times is the issue of non-compliance. This has been responsible for several boat incidents in Makurdi, Ogun, Lagos and several other parts of the country. The Area Manager has to investigate so that we have the facts of what really happened and I would love to speak better in terms of what really happened when I have the details” the NIWA Managing Director told MMS Plus newspaper.
Meanwhile, the Area Manager, Wathanafa attributed the cause of the accident on failure to adhere to NIWA Safety guidelines which includes overloading of the boat, using dilapidated and old boat and failure to use life jackets by the passengers.
Wathanafa maintained that the present Management was working hard to ensure that such unfortunate incidents are reduced to the barest minimum, assuring that NIWA would continue to encourage boat users to use modern and safe water transportation mode on our waterways.