The immediate past Minister for Power and Member of Parliament for Pru East, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, has lashed out at authorities of the Volta Lake Transport Company accusing them of taking the lives of people who resort to the lake as their only means of transport for granted.
The MP, in whose jurisdiction over 500 travelers were rescued in a near-sinking of a ferry in Yeji, has thus asked the Ministry of Transport to institute an independent investigation into the incident that could have claimed the lives of over 500 people but for the swift intervention of rescuers from the Ghana Navy.
“I have called on the Minister for Transport to institute a probe into the circumstances leading to the incident. We want an independent probe into the circumstances leading to during and after, to serve as a blueprint going forward,” said the MP.
The passengers on board the Yeji-bound ferry from Makango near Tamale, would have perished on Wednesday evening.
The ferry, believed to have been overloaded with about four cars, other cargo and over 500 passengers, started sinking due to a leakage.
But fortunately for the travelers, some naval officers who were engaged in a training exercise within the jurisdiction, went to their rescue.
Dr. Donkor attributed the incident to what he called the poor maintenance of ferries and called for immediate measures to rectify the problem.
“…My concern is that, the signals have been there for a while, that we are poorly maintaining the ferries. Not just the one at Yeji but also the one at Dambai and the one at Krachi. There will be danger if they are not properly maintained. Some of these ferries are about 40 years old but that per say isn’t negative if it is properly maintained.”
He also tasked the Ghana Maritime Authority to ensure the safety of the residents who are also his constituents.
“I believe Volta Lake Transport is not taking the lives of my constituents as being important. We underplaying the lives of citizens and these are Ghanaian citizens. I am also calling on the Ministry to get the regulatory body which is the Ghana Maritime body to ensure safety. Too often we only run there when lives are lost, make a bit of noise and then after that we go back to our old ways.
This is a serious incident, we thank God that there were engine boats around… but we cannot continue this way,” he warned.