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06.06.2007 General News

Demolition will be difficult - Minister


The Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu has said demolition of buildings in flood-prone areas would be difficult at the moment.

He said in the interim, efforts must be made to advise inhabitants of such areas to relocate, since reports from the Ghana Meteorological Services indicated that more rains were expected.

Mr Manu was speaking to newsmen when he visited a Rapid Response Rescue Team comprising of Police, Navy, Military, Fire Service and officers from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in Accra.

The team has been equipped with helicopter, boats, life jackets and other equipment to rescue victims in case of further flooding that might hit the capital.

Police patrol teams would also ply flooding areas in order to provide information to the rescue team and avoid pilfering until the raining season is over.

Mr. Agyeman Manu said Government would continue to provide resources to the team to protect life and property of those in affected areas.

He said a draft bill, National Emergency Management Service Bill, was currently before cabinet to give NADMO legal backing to demolish buildings in disaster-prone areas.

Alhaji Sulemana Yirimea, Deputy National Coordinator of NADMO, said the recalcitrance of residents in such areas had made it difficult for the organisation to manage floods each year.

He said inhabitants along the Weija spillway, McCarthy Hill and Nyanyanor, near Kasoa, had refused to relocate despite several warnings from NADMO.

"Residents of Gbawe, Santa Maria, Mallam and surrounding areas have also rejected NADMO's offer to provide them with temporary structures until the rains are over," he disclosed.

He expressed the hope that with the amendment of the NADMO Act 517, the organisation would be more independent and well resourced to effectively manage such disasters.

Alhaji Yirimea urged the general public to contact the telephone numbers of the rescue team on 021-772926 and 021-780541 in case of any emergency.

Source: GNA