The Gomoa Akyempim Traditional Council has performed rituals to appease the gods after 13 teenagers drowned at Apam in the Central Region.
The rites are to make way for the burial of the victims on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
According to the traditional authorities, consultations with the gods of the land revealed that the teenagers flouted laws not to swim at a place designated for the gods only.
A list of items presented to the gods to appease them included a cow, three sheep, 12 fowls, 33 tubers of yam, and three cartons of schnapps.
Queen-mother of Apam, Nana Essel Botwe, warned residents to obey the laws of the land to avert any such calamities in future.
“Where the children went swimming is the preserve of the gods, and we are happy that our offering was accepted by the gods. When we offered the first sacrifice it wasn’t accepted. So if we had not done this, it would have been disastrous. As humans, we must respect our tradition and custom as we do to our Christian values. We must not take them for granted.”
Meanwhile, Osihene of Gomoa Akyempim, Nana Okufo Ohene Ampofo says the traditional council will put in place laws that will bar teenagers of a certain age from visiting the seaside.
“As traditional authorities, we have decided to ensure that the right thing is done. We will ensure that certain laws are passed to prevent under-aged children from going to the seaside to swim. If you are not 18 years you will not be allowed to go there. This will help prevent such occurrences”, he said.
About the incident
On Sunday, March 7, 2021, at least 20 teenagers drowned at a beach in Apam.
The incident happened at about 5 PM.
The Apam District Police Commander, DSP Moses Osakonor, who gave a chilling account of the incident, said the teens sneaked to go swimming, disregarding the ban on beach activities in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to a police report, while the children were swimming, a high tide swallowed them up.
The timely intervention of a Good Samaritan saved the lives of two of them as they were rescued and sent to the St. Luke Hospital to be attended to.
The search party immediately jumped into the sea in an attempt to retrieve the bodies throughout the night but it was unsuccessful as they did not find other bodies either dead or alive.
Luck smiled on the team on Monday morning (7 am) as the dead bodies of four of the teens were retrieved.
Three hours later, the search team again retrieved three bodies. The total number of bodies retrieved as of Tuesday morning is 12 with two females and 10 males.
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