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06.06.2007 General News

NADMO Extends Hand To Flood Victims

NADMO Extends Hand To Flood Victims

A total of 1,650 people lost all their belongings to the devastating floods which hit the western part of Accra over the weekend.

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) identified the victims yesterday and has started distributing relief items worth ¢3.5 billion to them.

So far, 460 of the victims have been relocated at the Odorgonno Secondary School at Awoshie in Accra and presented with items, including rice, cooking oil, blankets, mats, buckets, basins, plates, cups and clothes.

Speaking to Mr Ben Brown, Greater Accra Regional NADMO Co-ordinator, at Santa Maria A'Lang in Accra when the distribution of items was under way, he said the victims would continue to use the secondary school as temporary accommodation until the rainy season was over.

He said adequate security arrangements had been made to prevent the victims from disturbing the academic programmes of the school.

Last Saturday many homes in the western part of Accra were thrown into mourning and despair following five deaths and the massive destruction of property from three days of heavy rains.

At the time of filing this report the death toll had risen to seven. The cost of damage to the scores of property swept away by flood water has not been ascertained yet.

Mr Brown said the distribution of the relief items had been completed at the Santa Maria Blue Kiosk, saying that the exercise would be extended to Anyaa, Mallam, New Gbawe, Shiabu at Agege, Otorgor, Dansoman SSNIT Flats, Glufe and Mateheko Presbyterian Church.

He said the exercise had been initially hectic but eased later when the victims realised that all of them would benefit from the items.

To make for equity distribution, Mr Brown said the items were being given to landlords or their representatives for distribution to victims known to them.

He advised residents in the affected areas to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, since the practice was a contributory factor to the choking of gutters which led to flooding.

At Djanman in Gbawe, residents cited poor town planning and sanitation as some of the factors which contributed to the flooding of the area and called for urgent action from the relevant authorities to protect lives and property.

A number of them called for the relevant authorities, as well as chiefs, opinion leaders, assembly members and MPs, must come together to educate the people on how to protect themselves and their property stressing that the authorities will have to take proactive measures and not wait till there is calamity.

“My fence wall came down as a result of the floods and I was fortunate that my building is on a higher ground. Other residents in low lying areas had water running into their rooms and destroying valuable property,” one resident said.

Some residents wondered what had become of the sanitary inspectors introduced some time ago by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, saying it appeared they had become inactive.

They also questioned why some houses had been allowed to be constructed on waterways, to the detriment of others, and challenged the Town and Country Planning Department and other key agencies to be alive to their responsibilities and stop such illegal constructions.

They said the contractor working on drains along the main Gbawe Road appeared to have abandoned the work, leaving trenches along the road, and said that was causing serious erosion.

Mr Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah, a resident of Gbawe, said he returned from Sunyani to find his room flooded.

According to him, he was like a refugee in his own home.

Story by Nehemia Owusu Achiaw