Two separate boat accidents in Niger State, north-central Nigeria have left no fewer than thirteen people, 13 females and two males, dead.
The tragedy involving the females reportedly occurred during the week when a boat carrying 17 villagers on a trip to a farm to harvest groundnuts capsized on the Kontagora River in Magama Local Government Area of the state.
Local divers were able to rescue six of the passengers as the rest drowned, among them, married women and underage girls, Punch reports.
Eight bodies had been recovered as of the time of filing this report, while divers were still searching for the remains of three victims.
Heavy downpour the previous night had caused the Kontagora River, a tributary of River Niger, to overflow its bank, resulting in the accident, although there have been reports of increased accidents on the river since works resumed on the abandoned Kontagora Dam as over eight people lost their lives in a similar accident a year ago.
According to the Director-General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Mallam Ahmed Inga, the travellers did not know that more water was flowing towards them due to the fact that the local current is always strong in the morning, especially when moving against the tide.
Similarly, two other persons have also been confirmed dead in another boat accident at New Bussa, in Borgu Local Government area of the state.
The state’s NEMA boss said that the victims died last week when they embarked on a trip in the waterways from one part of the council to another.
Apparently, there’s still some way to go in ensuring safety of the inland waterways.