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Child Rights International says 19,743 children out of school as result of dams spillage.

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About 19,743 children are currently out of school , while 71 schools, from kindergarten to junior high, are submerged in flood — hit areas following the spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong dams.

Also, more than 9,000 children could not retreive their uniforms and other educational materials such as bags, books, shoes and textbooks from the floods.

The affected areas are the North, South, and Central Tongu and Anlo in the Volta region: Shai Osudoku and Ada East in the Greater Accra region and the Asuogyaman district in the Eastern region.

This was contained in a finding conducted by Child Rights International (CRI), a non – governmental organisation (NGO).

The Executive Director of Child Rights International, Bright Appiah, said this at a press conference at CRI Conference hall in Accra on Tuesday 31, October 2023 said it could take over three months for the children to return to school.

He, therefore, entreated the government to prioritise the needs of the children to avert the rise of a child protection emergency in the future.

Mr.Bright Appiah said the country was already facing a dire child protection crisis since the man – made disaster had inundated several communities in the Lower Volta Basin, making protection of children a matter of urgency.

“The unparalleled flooding situation has given rise to an imminent child protection crisis,.particularly on health and education of both adults and children, ” he added.

Some of the children had complained of sexual abuse issues at some of the facilities they were living in at the communities.

He said about 0 62 per cent of children had reported instances of physical sexual abuse, while one percent of them complained of verbal sexual abuse.

About 20 per cent of the children also expressed concern over sleeping arrangements in the structures that allowed rooms to be occupied by both males and females.

 

Mr.Bright Appiah also said that 80 per cent of girls reported feeling uncomfortable due to the lack of privacy where they were compelled to dress up in the presence of opposite sex.

Over 3,200 adolescent girls, representing about 18.6 per cent of the total number of children affected by this disaster, have also reported the lack of access to personal hygiene products.

He further said that more than 90 per cent of the children had contracted ailments such as malaria, skin diseases and headaches, while others had been traumatised as they showed signs of dissociation, refusing to acknowledge the disaster’s impact on them.

The organisation intended to carry out a remediation exercise to supply affected children with exercise books , note books, textbooks and other school materials.

He urged the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service to develop and implement an education and health recovery plan to expedite the reintegration of the children in schools…..Story by Bugbila Moadow.

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