The creation of this program is the answer to a problem which reported more than critical drowning rates in the area of South-est Asia. As shown in the graph below.
This problem concerns three categories of age 1-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10 years and over, with a strong concentration in the early (1 to 4 years).
The graph above shows that the rate of fatal drowning occurs 80% in rural areas. Given that over 75% of the population of South-est Asia live in rural areas. This risk relates to a large number of children.
Drowning occurs during childhood and is linked to three distinct factors (develloped in three different pages above).
Eight girls and two boys were missing yesterday after a small ferry consisting of two wooden longboats capsized while crossing the Nam Ngum river in Pakngum district, Vientiane.
The missing children were primary school pupils from Nabong village who cannot swim well and were crossing the river to take their final year exams at a school in Thakokhai village.
The ferry was carrying about 40 people, including the skipper, villagers, teachers and a motorbike, and was sitting very low in the water.
Fortunately the 30 other people in the boat survived the disaster because they could swim or were assisted by others.
“The ferry capsized when it reached the middle of the river. For its size, it should have been carrying only 10-20 people,” one witness said.
The Vientiane Rescue Team, including divers, immediately headed to the scene after receiving a telephone call from local residents, a team member said.
More than 10 divers searched for the missing children in the river but were unable to find them because of the strong current.
The rescue team official said the divers might take a couple of days to locate those who were still missing, adding “but we hope to discover them soon”.