A tragedy in north-west Nigeria has reportedly killed 15 children. Nearly two dozen others were also involved in the incident, although they were eventually found alive.
RELATED: Atlanta teen, family friend dies while saving kids from drowning on spring break
The boat capsized on the way to get firewood
Aliyu Abubakar – a Nigerian politician – spoke to Agence France-Presse (AFP) about the matter, France 24 reports.
He noticed that the children were going to get firewood when the boat eventually capsized. The 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 such as congestion, flooding and poor maintenance. It is also noted that waterway transport is widespread in the region and some rivers have become important trade routes.
RELATED: President Joe Biden issues disaster declaration for Kentucky after flooding causes at least 16 deaths
CNN, as a police spokesman, gave more details Sanusi Abubakar informed the outlet that there were 36 people on board at the time of the boat accident. While 15 lost their lives, 21 were saved.
“There were 36 people on board. Twenty-one were rescued alive and 15 drowned.”
At least 15 people have died after a boat capsized in Nigeria’s northwestern state of Sokoto, authorities told CNN. https://t.co/T7XUK8HoLG
— CNN International (@cnni) May 10, 2023
An overview of similar tragedies in Nigeria
This incident is the latest waterborne tragedy to rock Nigeria.
Flooding in the southern part of the state in December killed at least 76 people, according to CBS News.
Eight months earlier, an eerily similar situation occurred after 29 children drowned while walking to the firewood.
In another incident on a river path in May 2021, more than 150 people were reported missing. In addition, only 20 people were rescued and Yusuf Burma of the National Inland Waterways Authority spoke about the situation, reports The Guardian.
“The boat’s capacity was not sufficient for the 180 passengers it was carrying. As we speak, only 20 people have been rescued alive, four confirmed dead, while the remaining 156 people are still missing and believed to be underwater.”
Burma added: “The boat involved was an old and very weak wooden boat, but these people did not listen when we made them aware of reducing the number of passengers they carry in their boats.”