Welfare officials in Ghana have rescued a four-year-old boy tied to a three for 36 months on suspicion that he is a spiritual child by his grandmother.
A nurse who didn’t want her name mentioned, discovered the “hidden horror” at a town called Balasa-Sanwaasa, a community in the Builsa North District of Northern Ghana.
The discovery was made during a house-to-house measles-rubella vaccination campaign, a local news portal Starrfmonline.com reports.
The grandmother ties the four-year-old with a rope to a mango tree every morning before leaving for town with a plate of food by his side.
Naked all the time and always at the mercy of the weather, the malnourished boy had no one to play with under the tree except the leaves and the insects that fell from the treetop, Starrfmonline.com reports.
The mother of the child, according to the report, took ill and died while the father disappeared even before the mother’s funeral right was performed.
Owing to the unfortunate circumstances that greeted the boy’s birth, the grandmother concluded that he is a ‘chichiruk’— the name for a ‘spirit child’ in the locally spoken Buli dialect.
Starr FM reports that “those circumstances formed the basis of the horrifying treatment she dealt out to the boy, resisting every attempt by an outsider to liberate the boy from her shackles until the nurse encountered the boy and threatened a police arrest if she did not release the child at once.”
“The grandmother believed it was the boy that killed the mother,” said Derrick Abakisi, a nurse and staff of Sandema-based Radio Builsa told Accra based Starr FM.
“Besides, she was saying that she would not take care of somebody’s child only for the parents to come and take him away later. She also said the boy liked roaming and she always had a lot of work to do; so, the only way to prevent him from roaming was to tie him under a mango tree.”
At the time of the rescue, Starrfmonline.com reports that a prolonged hunger and a severe malnutrition nearly killed the boy.
His wrinkled body has been reduced to a bare ribcage, an exposed pair of sockets on his lean face, dried limbs, showing collarbones, withered knees, a lighter-than-normal fluff of hair growing like a yarn on a dehydrated scalp and a shrunken pair of buttocks.