At least 17 children lost their lives after the boat they were on capsized on Tuesday in the Dandeji River in Sokoto State, northwestern Nigeria. Local divers were able to recover the bodies of the victims, who were subsequently buried according to Islamic rules.
The boat was carrying around 40 girls and boys who were on their way to collect firewood in a nearby forest. Some passengers were able to swim to safety, while search efforts were ongoing for others. Fetching firewood is a common activity for children in the area. Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has yet to release a statement on the incident. This is the second similar tragedy in the Shagari Local Government Area in recent months, with 29 people, mostly teenagers, losing their lives in a boat accident in April 2022 in Gidan Magana village.