A tragedy in northwestern Nigeria has reportedly resulted in 15 children losing their lives. Nearly two dozen others were also involved in the incident, though they were ultimately found alive.
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The Boat Capsized On The Way To Get Firewood
Aliyu Abubakar — a Nigerian political figure — spoke to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) about the matter, France 24 reports.
He noted that the children were en route to retrieve firewood when the boat ultimately capsized. Those who drowned — 13 girls and two boys — were “recovered by local rescue teams and buried in the village.”
“Fifteen bodies, 13 girls and two boys, were recovered by local rescue teams and buried in the village.”
France 24 points out that the majority of such river tragedies are due to factors like overloading, flooding, and poor maintenance. It’s also noted that waterway transportation is prevalent in the area, and some rivers have become significant trade routes.
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CNN provided further details, as police spokesman Sanusi Abubakar told the outlet that 36 people were onboard at the time of the boat wreck. While 15 lost their lives, 21 were saved.
“There were 36 people on board. Twenty-one were rescued alive and 15 were drowned.”
At least 15 people have died after a boat capsized in Nigeria's northwestern Sokoto State, authorities told CNN. https://t.co/T7XUK8HoLG
— CNN International (@cnni) May 10, 2023
A Rundown Of Similar Tragedies In Nigeria
This incident is the latest water-based tragedy to rock Nigeria.
According to CBS News, flooding in the southern part of the state resulted in at least 76 deaths in December.
Eight months earlier, an eerily-similar situation unfolded after 29 children drowned while on the way to get firewood.
Another riverway incident in May 2021 reportedly left more than 150 people missing. Additionally, only 20 individuals were rescued, and Yusuf Birma of the National Inland Waterways Authority spoke on the situation, The Guardian reports.
“The boat capacity was not up to the 180 passengers it carried. As we speak, only 20 people have been rescued alive, four dead confirmed while the remaining 156 people are still missing and they are believed to be underwater.”
Birma added, “The boat involved was a wooden boat which was old and very weak, but these people would not listen when we sensitized them to reduce the number of passengers they carry in their boats.”