No fewer than seven persons died in a boat mishap at Zhigiri village, Shiroro local government area of Niger on their way to attend a naming ceremony.
This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by Silas Saba, the spokesperson for Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) in Minna.
The coalition, which decried the current challenges caused by the establishment of the Zungeru hydro-electric power dam in the community, said the incident occurred at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The group added that the tragedy occurred when the villagers were sailing to Dnaweto; a neighbouring village in the hinterland for a naming ceremony.
The group said a man, Muazu Babangida, lost his two wives and a son in the mishap.
“Prior to the construction of Zungeru Dam, travelling between these two villages was by land and not water transportation, as the terrain was majorly dry and motorable. This is one of the social upheaval occasioned by the construction of the dam,” said the statement.
It disclosed that the villagers had yet to recover the body of one of the victims from the river.
The group called on Hydro-electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) to respond to the incident by providing safety measures such as life jackets and standard boats, among others, to help the people to adapt to their new way of life of water transportation.
It also stated that providing the items and sensitising the people on water transportation could prevent future tragedy.
The public relations office of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency could not be reached at the time of filing this report.