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    South Africa-Religion-Easter

    S/Africans urged to obey water safety measures during Easter

    APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

    The South African government has appealed to the citizenry, particularly religious leaders, to be cautious and stick to water safety measures to avoid drowning incidents during the Easter weekend.

    “During this period, tens of thousands of people are expected to visit coastal areas to enjoy themselves at the country’s beaches, while people of different faiths are expected to be engaged in various religious activities such as baptism.

    “Subsequently, these religious activities often lead to loss of lives of many due to drownings, while also facing the danger of reptiles living in water,” the Ministry of Water and Sanitation said on Friday.

    The office said that in the past year, the rising number of drowning incidents involving children in dams, canals and rivers prompted the ministry to intensify its Water Safety Campaign in an effort to educate the masses on the dangers associated with activities near water resources.

    As people will be visiting dams across the country, the ministry advised parents to keep children in check to avoid drowning.

     “Adults are also warned not to consume alcoholic substances near dams, as they are likely to end up drowning,” the ministry said.

    The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) said that drowning was the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death globally, with an estimated mortality rate of seven victims per 100,000 people.

    The drowning mortality rate for the African region was considerably higher at 13 deaths per 100,000 people and in 2012 Africa was found to account for 20% of drownings globally, WHO said.

    NM/jn/APA

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