General News of Sunday, 31 July 2016
A number of houses fell flat in the disaster
Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has intensified calls for relief response from the United Nations following a flood disaster that has left one person dead and at least 2,718 displaced in the Upper East region.
NADMO says 1,467 children are among those displaced after a 12-hour downpour opened the floodgates last Wednesday. The rainclouds have been pouring down heavily since then and without a break as several communities remain flooded with 462 houses submerged so far.
Some 1,301 acres of farmlands and 6 dams have been washed away. There are no official figures yet on the bridges destroyed and roads rendered impassable to vehicles, but it is believed they are about 40 combined. Affected areas include the Nabdam District, the Bolgatanga Municipality, the Bongo District, the Builsa North District and the Builsa South District where countless animals also are said to have been buried alive in the runoff.
“What we would like to reiterate is that the UN system should quickly mobilise humanitarian aid in the areas of food relief, like millet, rice, maize and so on because most of the people affected are poor and their farmlands are also washed away.
“So, it is going to exacerbate the already-poor situation of these farmers because the rains came in late and later on came and swept their farmlands away. They are back to square one. The cycle of poverty still continues to rule. So, any aid from any philanthropic individual or any organisation would highly be appreciated by these families,” Paul Wooma, Deputy Chief Disaster Control Officer in charge of Disasters and Operations in the region, said in an interview with Starr News.
Farmer dies trying to cross flooded stream
As the heavens shook with thunder amid Wednesday’s heavy downpour, about 20 roads got washed away with many watercourses filled beyond their banks in the Bongo District.
A 60-year-old farmer got stuck in a flooded stream at Beo, a community in the district. He was returning from a weedy farm, where he had joined his colleagues to hoe, when he lost his balance in the floodwaters as he tried to cross the stream? and was swept away.
His lifeless body was found in the evening the same day and identified as that of one Nyaaba Amoka, a native of Adaboya, an area inside Beo. Survived by a wife and three children, he has been buried, according to NADMO.
Breakdown of disaster toll
At least 5 houses are submerged with 295 people in 9 communities affected in the Nabdam District. Some 25 acres of farmlands and 3 of the few dams Nabdams have are gone with the floodwaters. Those were the Awak Dam, the Soliga Dam and the Sakote Dam.
In Bongo, about 20 roads are lying in ruins with 221 people affected and 47 houses submerged in a disaster that also has left a farmer dead. The raging floods struck Builsa South, evicting 815 people in 6 communities from their homes, destroying 4 roads and leaving a community health post buried in water.
+About+40+roads+and+bridges+said+to+be+either+ruined+or+completely+washed+away About 40 roads and bridges said to be either ruined or completely washed away No fewer than 924 people are in pain in Builsa North where 886 acres of farmlands have been washed away with 248 houses either submerged or fallen flat in tidal waves. Bolgatanga, the regional capital, has at least 463 people officially known to be displaced with about 60 acres of cereal crops completely ruined.
Survivors not happy with response so far
Whilst some survivors of the disaster look inconsolable with some relief items distributed by NADMO so far, many more are yet to receive as NADMO stores look to run empty anytime soon.
A lot of the victims are yet to be reached as NADMO itself is challenged with vehicles to reach several communities to gather data.
It would be recalled some survivors in the Builsa North slammed the Deputy Interior Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, James Agalga, after he reportedly had distributed relief some items including mosquito nets and mosquito coils to devastated constituents. The victims, who apparently did not find anything relieving in the relief items, said they expected authorities to be rather proactive than being reactive.
“The MP only brought blankets and mosquito coils. Are mosquitoes what caused our areas to be flooded? When we are even talking of the food items and other belongings we have lost, this is what he can bring,” Kofi Adjuik, one of the angry victims, had told newsmen at Sandema, capital of the Builsa North District.
The disaster toll is most likely to rise, not only because more figures are yet to reach NADMO’s database but also for the reason that the tireless rainclouds are still looming large everywhere, also ‘trying’ to reach more buildings yet to be tested.