As the rainy season approaches, news of tragic deaths involving drowning has surfaced in Nimba County.
On Saturday, there were two separate drowning cases involving three persons, including two teenage girls and an elderly man.
Two little girls, ages 10 and 11 drowned in a pool of water in the vicinity of Ganta, precisely in the LPRC Community.
They were identified as Mamie Koleh 10, and Darling Girl Koleh, 11. According to reports the girls left their LPRC home to wash their clothes at a nearby pool a few yards from their house.
The girls lived with their parents, Mr. Randolph Koleh and Mrs. Ophelia Koleh. Their residence is situated around a swamp where sand mining is currently on going.
As a result of sand mining, pools of water remain in abandoned pits which have now become places where residents wash their clothes and dishes, according to interviews conducted with residents.
Investigations conducted by the Daily Observer indicated that after frantic searches by family members and neighbours, the girls could not be located until the evening hours when their lifeless bodies were found in one of the abandoned sand mining pits.
The Liberia National Police Ganta branch confirmed the incident, pointing out that there was no foul play in their deaths. The bodies, a spokesman said, have been turned over to the family for burial.
The drowning of the girls in Ganta has brought harsh criticism about the safety of the community where sand mining or other alluvial mining activities are on-going.
“We don’t know what (safety) mechanism the government is putting into place for the areas where alluvial mining is on-going,” said an angry woman.
“We are talking about children; it could be anyone, because these pits are not covered after the digging and there should be a mechanism in place that all miners (be required to) close their pits after mining,” she added.
In another incident, an elderly man identified as Moses Tuoh drowned in the Nimba County border town of Beahplay in Buu – Yao Administrative District, according to family sources.
The cause of the drowning is yet to be established. A family source in a phone interview said most residents of the town are involved in fishing in the Cestor River, bordering the Ivory Coast.
Last year, two little girls went missing and later their bodies were found near a pool in Gbehlay Geh District after participating in a closing exercise of their school.