RISKY SPLASH: Don’t let children swim without a adult watching over them. Picture: Montsho Matlala
With schools closed for the long summer holidays, police have issued a warning to parents not to allow children to swim or play in dams and rivers unsupervised.
Provincial police spokesperson Col Ronnel Ott, said drowning among children became common this time of the year.
“Parents must never allow children to play in rivers, dams or pools without adult guidance. You should at all times make sure that you know where your child is,” Otto said.
“Children may think that the river is shallow, but a sudden current can sweep them off their feet.”
Already a seven-year-old boy has drowned in the Mamatsha dam in the Ga-Molepo area near Mankweng on Thursday.
Mankweng police spokesperson Const Moses Molepo said: “It is claimed that the victim was playing near the Mamatsha Dam with his two friends.
“The boy fell into the water and his two panic-stricken friends alerted members of the community.” Police were called to the scene and the lifeless body of Lesetja Tebogo Tjale was retrieved from the dam, according to Molepo.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Some urban municipalities in the province have recreational facilities for children. However children in the rural areas depend on the bush to find amusement and they usually pursue their fun unsupervised.
Community leaders say an added danger facing children with no access to recreational or sports facilities is crime – either as perpetrators or victims.
Col Eddie Enslin, station commander of the Mankweng police station, advised people of all ages to receive swimming lessons. Meanwhile, health authorities have warned of the risk of exposure to water-borne disease such as bilharzia and cholera – as well as chemical waste – while swimming in untreated rivers, streams and dams.