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28.11.2007 General News

Snakes, scorpions invade communities after floods

A large number of snakes and scorpions have been flushed out of their natural habitats by flood water, causing a massive invasion in the farming and fishing communities of Tapa-Alavanyo and Tapa-Abotoase on the banks of the Volta Lake.

Community leaders said the invading snakes and scorpions have caused injuries to 110 residents and appealed for help to deal with the situation which they attributed to the aftermath of last September's destructive floods.

Making their plea through the Daily Graphic, the residents said they had been subjected to rampant snake bites and scorpion stings since flood waters, which destroyed most of their properties, subsided last month.

A spokesman for the communities, Mr Amos Boku, who is also a former Assembly Member for Tapa-Alavanyo, said over the weekend, 10 residents suffered snake bites. He said the condition of one of the victims was so critical that he could not be treated at the Worawora and Hohoe Government hospitals and had to be referred to the Volta Regional Hospital at Ho.

He said in all, there had been 110 reported cases of snake bites and scorpion stings, adding that the District Health Service in the area had described the situation as critical.

Mr Boku said the invasion of scorpions and snakes had affected almost every home in the communities and attributed the situation to the destruction of the homes of the residents by the floods, which has compelled them to do with temporary structures.

He disclosed that 30 houses had collapsed and their inhabitants were putting up with relatives, adding that part of the Akpavikope School building, as well as the teachers' quarters, also collapsed, forcing pupils to attend classes under trees.

The ex-Assembly member called for emergency food assistance and medical care to restore hope and security to the deteriorating health situation in the area.

He mentioned other affected areas as Alavanyo, Akpavikope, Mawuekpor, Madagascar, Galikpo, Baninikope, Kpevukope, Mangotikope and Gbemumu.

When contacted, the Disaster and Operations officer of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in the Jasikan District, Ms Mercy Mensah, corroborated the story about the plight of the communities.

She said the floods were caused by three days, of continuous torrential rainfall that caused a breakdown in the physical and social order of the settlements.

She added her voice to the appeal for help to solve the immediate problems of the affected areas.