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13.10.2007 General News

World Vision sends relief items to flood victims

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World Vision Ghana Relief Team on Friday dispatched a second consignment of emergency relief supplies from Accra to the Bongo District in the Upper East Region to support thousands of people left homeless by recent floods.

The items worth GH¢53,309.00 (533,090,000.00) are 1,800 pieces of student mattresses, 1,600 blankets, 800 lanterns, 1,600 insecticide treated mosquito nets and 930 cooking utensils. The rest include packets of chlorine tablets and other water purification items to disinfect and restore boreholes and hand-dug wells that were contaminated by the flooding.

An earlier consignment comprising 800 bags of maize, 100 bags of beans and 40 boxes of iodated salt was sent last week.

World Vision Ghana Associate Director for Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs, Mr Ebenezer Okoampa, announced that the supplies are expected to arrive in hard-hit Bongo by Saturday October 13, for distribution.

He disclosed that ever since the government of Ghana requested for assistance from the international community, after declaring the three Northern Regions a "Disaster Zone" in September 2007, World Vision initiated consultations with government and other relief agencies on the response, and made initial donation of items worth 5,400 US dollars.

World Vision's plan for now is to distribute essential non-food items - including blankets, tarpaulins for shelter, and clothing - to provide immediate aid to affected children and families.

"We expect to reach some 950 households of 6,000 people immediately with these aid supplies," says Mr Okoampa.

Earlier, World Vision Ghana National Director, Mr Sam Asare and the team had visited the organisation's Area Development Programmes affected by the floods. Mr Asare interacted with the affected people particularly children and assured them of the organisation's support.

The recent flood, which is the worst to hit the three Northern Regions in 10 years, affected eight districts where World Vision currently has Area Development Programmes (ADPs).

They are Bongo, Talensi-Nabdam, Savelugu-Nanton, Tolon-Kumbungu, Gushiegu-Karaga, Saboba-Chereponi, West Mamprusi "Overseas" and Zabzugu-Tatale ADPs.

These ADPs are currently carrying out various development interventions in education, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, food security and micro-finance among others. World Vision development partners sponsored more than 15,000 children in these areas.

World Vision has been part of Inter-Agency/Government Assessment Team that visited the flood-affected areas. Others include United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) Team, UNICEF, Ministry of Interior through the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and some international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

As part of the medium and long-term responses, World Vision is in consultation with its development partners and support offices to assist in the areas of food security and shelter to rehabilitate school buildings and houses for seriously affected communities.

World Vision Programmes Director, Mr. Eugene Asante disclosed that the German government has approved a budget of 12,250 US dollars to support interventions in shelter for flood victims in Bongo District of the Upper East Region of Ghana. Part of the funds would also be used to monitor the progress of relief activities.

The Project Manager of World Vision Ghana Rural Water Project, Mr. Patrick Amoateng-Mensah has also indicated that the water team would disinfect boreholes that have been contaminated in the affected programme areas. He said the operation would begin as soon as the ground was firm enough for the heavy-duty trucks to move to the sites.

Government reports put the death count at 46, so far with 21 occurring in Upper East, 15 in the Northern Region, and 10 in Upper West Region. The reports indicated 332,600 persons were displaced, 592 communities affected, 20,488 houses destroyed, 17 roads washed away, 5 bridges destroyed, over 8,000 hectares of farms washed away and 13,030 metric tonnes of grains and several livestock have been destroyed in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Western Regions.

Source: GNA