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!
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!
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.
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!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!