The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, has called for immediate steps to forestall any further disaster at Weija and its environs where the recent rains caused severe flooding, leading to loss of lives and property.
He suggested that in the interim, the 47 Engineering Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces and health personnel should be mobilised to prevent further occurrence of the flooding in the area, as well as avert outbreak of diseases.
Prof. Mills, who undertook a day's tour of the flooded areas in Mallam and its environs, sympathised with the victims. He said “this is not an issue of blame game, it is a problem that concerns the lives of our people”.
According to him, he would still have visited the people even if he was not the flag bearer of the NDC “because I have been a Vice-President of this country and it is, therefore, necessary I come to sympathise with the people”.
“The engineers, health authorities and sanitation officers are well vexed in their job and I believe that they would be in a better position to prevent outbreak of diseases, and further destruction of lives and property,” he added.
Visibly shocked by the large-scale devastation of buildings and personal belongings of the flood victims, he noted that the 47 Engineering Regiment had the expertise to ensure that once the rains continued it would not cause further havoc and give a breathing space for the authorities to find a permanent solution to the problem.
Prof. Mills, who was accompanied by his campaign manager, Mr Antwi Bosiako Sekyere and others, said looking at the level of filthy water that had logged at various areas and the filth that had engulfed the area, the earlier the health and sanitation officials cleared the area the better.
Visiting houses that were severely hit by the floods, the NDC flag bearer wondered if response to prevent further destruction would have been the same had it happened in one of the plush residential areas in Accra.
According to him, with the prediction from the Meteorological Services Agency that there would be more rains, the authorities must not delay in putting in place measures that would avert the reoccurrence of the disaster, especially the removal of the filth that had engulfed the area.
Going round the disaster area, it was evident that the floods were caused by sheer indiscipline on the part of some residents who had built right in the main water-way preventing the free flow of water and the lack of supervision on the part of the city authorities to ensure that developers did not build haphazardly.
At the time of the visit, most of the victims were coming to terms with their losses. Some were repairing their damaged buildings, washing dirty clothes and drying other personal belongings, while those who lost friends and relations were also seen in mourning clothes grieving.
Ms Cecilia Antwi, a 32-year-old mother of two, who claimed that her two-bedroom apartment which was attached to a main building close to the waterway was completely washed away, said, “I thank God it took place during the day. If it had been in the night, the number of lives and property lost would have been unimaginable.”
Story by Donald Ato Dapatem