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Emmanuella’s Article 2: Dangers of Girls Fetching Water in Ghana

Article #25 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project
Nearly Dying from Fetching River Water

By Boateng Emmanuella, Age 14

First my bucket fell into the river, and then I tumbled in, too! I didn’t know how to swim, and there was nobody around to help me!

Emmanuella, the student author of this piece.
Emmanuella, the student author of this piece.

I was a girl of fourteen years old. At around ten o’clock in the morning, the water tap in my house stopped flowing, and there was no one in the house to fetch water from the riverside for my bath. The riverside was far from my home, but I decided to walk there myself. The only place in my mind was the River Volta.

When I reached the Volta River, I did not see anybody to help me fetch the water. The place was slippery because a lot of people had already come in the morning to fetch, since their tap was not flowing either. When they were fetching from the river, some of them had spilled water on the riverside ground, so the danger of sliding in was high.

I went to scoop the water. I filled my bucket and was about to leave when I stepped on a slippery place and found myself flat on the ground with the water poured all over me! I stood up and took the bucket for another attempt… and I stepped on a slippery place again. This time I was at the riverside, so my bucket and I fell right into the river!

A river in Ghana.
A river in Ghana.

I fought my hardest to get out of the water but I couldn’t because I didn’t know how to swim! So I just did my best to keep my hands up so that whoever passed by could find me and rescue me. The water began to fill my mouth and lungs as I gasped for air.

Luckily for me, I was still alive by the time a lady came to fetch water and spotted my hands sticking up from the river. She ran to bring back strong men to the riverside and they rescued me! They had to press my stomach so the water I drank could get out.

The lady who found me knew me previously, so she walked to my house to find my family. She told my parents everything, and they followed her to the riverside. When my mother saw me, she cried out, “Emmanuella, why did you want to fetch water from the riverside?”

I replied, “I wanted to take a bath, and when I listened to my colleagues talking about going to the riverside to fetch water, I felt like going there, too!” My parents took me to the hospital.

When I had recovered, I returned home from the hospital to see that there was a new pipe that had been put in my house. It turned out that after my accident, my father had gone to the District Chief Executive’s house and demanded a new water system be installed in our home. My father never wanted me to risk drowning again!

When I got to school that day, I told my friends who go to the river to fetch water to come to my house in order to fetch pipe water instead. My friends were very thankful!

Ghana is a “Developing” country, which means we still have basic problems like access to good water. To develop our country, it will be very helpful for some of us to have the opportunity to see what a “Developed” country looks like.

Girls carrying water on their head in Ghana.
Girls carrying water on their head in Ghana.

For this reason and many others, our YCC Cross-Culture group is traveling to London in August of this year for the return half of an educational youth exchange. I hope you will wish us luck on our preparations and our journey! We have much to learn, but we have much to teach as well!

Lillie’s Note: Please leave a comment for Emmanuella on her dramatic article, stating your geographical location!


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Emma E.

Monday 16th of November 2015

Good for you and your dad, Emmanuella. That is so sad that you almost drowned while just fetching water

Karynna A.

Wednesday 25th of February 2015

Crazy how here in the U.S and most parts we take water for granted while this young girl risked her life to get water! It just shows how thankful we should be everyday. Not saying that it happens to everyone but it is just amazing how Water is so hard to get which is differential from here in most parts of the U.S.

Triston Xie

Thursday 1st of March 2012

I feel so bad for the people who doesn't have water. We can have unlimited access to clean water. While people in Africa, has to risk their lives trying to get water for their daily lives. I think that people don't appreciate their lives enough. It is lucky that we have a reliable source of food and water.

Fiona Phie

Wednesday 7th of December 2011

Wow that is so scary!


Friday 12th of November 2010

Emanuella was so lucky to have been saved! From this incident, her home even has a new water system installed. Her family is so fortunate considering not many homes have new water systems! :)

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