Children who commute between the Sempe and Korle Gonno communities in Accra, are having problems getting to school early due to the construction of a new bridge on the Korle Lagoon.
The demolition of the old bridge had created huge traffic on the beach road, so most people, including children from Korle Gonno travelling to Accra and vice versa used boats which cost ¢2,000 for adults but free of charge for children.
However, due to a recent media report that the lives of the children who used the boats were at risk, the boat owners had resolved not to allow children on board any more.
For that reason, schoolchildren who turned up as usual to be ferried across the lake last Thursday were turned down.
And so they had to walk the long distance along the main road from Korle Gonno to Sempe and vice versa which is about 700 kilometres. Even children of the boat owners were also refused the service and, therefore, had to walk.
Some children the Junior Graphic spoke to during a visit to the area said the decision would make them late for school.
One of the disappointed children, Eric Yartey, a Class Three pupil of Korle Gonno R/C Boys School, said the boat had been very helpful to them ever since the bridge was demolished.
Nii Danquah, a boat owner, explained that they were fishermen at the main Korle Gonno Beach, and after the destruction of the bridge they decided to help by carrying people to and from both sides of the road.
Mr Danquah said there had so far not been any accident and, therefore, denied reports that one of the boats had recently capsised, and claimed a life. He pointed out that, that incident rather occurred at the main Korle Gonno Beach.
He said they also had a diver around who could rescue anybody, in the event of any eventuality.
Mr Danquah, therefore, appealed to the authorities to help them with life jackets for those who patronised the boat to ease the inconvenience created for commuters.
One of the foremen of the Chinese Railway Company constructing the bridge, Amidu Sualihu, said work on the bridge would be completed in the next six months.
Story by Augustina Tawiah