The Child Protection Alliance has called for a swift and independent investigation into the weekend boat disaster that left three students dead.
The Yundum Barracks Upper Basic School students were on an excursion when a navy boat carrying them capsized in the waters of Jangjangbureh.
Expressing its dismay, CPA said the incident could have been avoided had proper emergency mechanisms were put in place, and called for a swift probe into the matter.
“We express our sadness at the loss of three school-going kids which is quite tragic. We don’t think the people who took these children for this excursion and on board this boat put in any child protection mechanisms. To put children on a boat, you are exposing them to risks and without mitigating structures, it will result to loss of life, which is tantamount to negligence as in this case,” CPA national coordinator Lamin Fatty, told The Standard.
He said had proper emergency mechanisms were in place, this incident could have been avoided.
“Unfortunately, that did not happen,” he said.
He said a detailed explanation of every event that led to the tragic incident must be established for the law to take its course.
Education ministry reacts
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has reacted to the tragedy after Gambians criticized it for keeping mute.
In a statement on its official Facebook page yesterday, the ministry said: “The Management and staff of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education are deeply saddened by the death of three of our students, Musa B. Ceesay, Sanna Kijera and Babucarr Jaiteh of the Yundum Barracks Upper and Senior Secondary School.
This devastating event occurred following a tragic boat accident between Jangjangbureh and Laminkoto crossing point while on excursion. The entire Ministry mourns this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, teachers, classmates and friends during this difficult time.”