Hajj: Six More Ghanaians Die In Saudi Arabia Following Severe Heatwave

Hajj: Six More Ghanaians Die In Saudi Arabia Following Severe Heatwave

  • Six more Ghanaians have died in Mecca during the Hajj rituals as a result of a severe heatwave sweeping through the country
  • This has raised Ghana's death toll among pilgrims to eight
  • The spokesperson of the Ghana Hajj Board noted that initial reports had suggested 13 deaths, but Saudi authorities are still identifying and verifying bodies

Six Ghanaian nationals have died in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, due to a heat wave sweeping through the country.

The latest deaths have raised the death toll among Ghanaian pilgrims to eight.

Hajj: Six More Ghanaians Die In Saudi Arabia Following Severe Heatwave
Six more Ghanaians have died in a heatwave in Saudi Arabia.
Source: Getty Images

Temperatures in the country have soared drastically, exceeding 41 degrees Celsius.

The intense heat has resulted in the deaths of thousands of pilgrims who had been visiting the city to partake in the ritual Hajj.

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Saudi authorities, reacting to the situation, have directed pilgrims to stay indoors or in their tents during peak heat hours, between noon and 4 p.m. local time.

Initial reports of deaths during the Hajj emerged involving Georgian pilgrims; however, Abdul Rahman Alhassan Gomba, spokesperson for the Hajj Board, noted that some Ghanaians are now part of the fatalities.

He said initially, authorities were not aware of Ghanaians being part of the fatalities.

When news started emerging of some Ghanaian deaths, the reports stated that about 13 Ghanaians had lost their lives.

However, after thumbprint verification by Saudi Authorities at the morgue, so far, only six Ghanaians have been confirmed dead.

Abdul Gomba said the fatalities include individuals who did not travel with Hajj visas, thus complicating the identification efforts.

He said till further bodies are identified, the official number of deaths as a result of the heat wave recorded by the Ghanaian side is six.

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Two Ghanaian pilgrims die from health complications

Two Ghanaian Hajj pilgrims died from various health complications in Saudi Arabia, earlier.

Reports indicated that the deceased persons, believed to be from Damongo in the Savannah Region, passed away on Sunday, June 9, and Wednesday, June 12.

Over 4,000 Ghanaian pilgrims are currently in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Hajj ritual.

They started departing for Saudi Arabia from the Tamale International Airport on May 28, 2024.

Chairman of the Hajj Board, Alhaji Ben Abdullah Banda, confirmed the deaths to Channel One News.

He said the two dead persons had been buried in accordance with Islamic customs.

He also announced that a Ghanaian pilgrim gave birth in the Holy City of Mecca on Wednesday.

Climate change impacting Hajj pilgrim

YEN.com.gh reported on how climate change and global warming have impacted hajj pilgrims in recent years.

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The hajj pilgrimage can be physically taxing in average years, and worshippers this year face an added challenge of high temperatures rising to 42 degrees Celsius.

Muslims who have flocked to western Saudi Arabia for the five-day ritual, most of which takes place in the open air, have been confronted with a stark reminder of how warming trends are exacerbating what was already a scorching desert climate.

Though pilgrims generally shy from complaining, the result is a daunting endurance test.

Proofread by Berlinda Entsie, journalist and copy editor at YEN.com.gh

Source: YEN.com.gh

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Cornerlis Affre (CA and Politics Editor) Cornerlis Kweku Affre is at present a Current Affairs Editor at Yen.com. He covers politics, business, and other current affairs. He has worked in various roles in the media space for at least 5 years. You can reach out to him at cornerlis.affre@yen.com.gh