Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has called on the people of Ashaiman to pull together as one people and apply a community spirited approach to attack the flood disaster that befell them a couple of weeks ago.
Speaking at various points during a visit to the disaster areas last Saturday, Nana Konadu urged the people to organise communal labour to remove the debris and rubbish that had engulfed the whole community to avoid the outbreak of an epidemic.
Mrs. Rawlings who is also President of the 31st December Women's Movement (DWM) and Vice-Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), also promised to look into the possibility of organizing a team of doctors to set up a camp in the community to attend to injured persons and those who have fallen sick as a result of the devastating floods that took away life and property.
Accompanied by Minister of State and Member of Parliament for Kpone Katamanso, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, MCE Anderson Numo Adenotey, executives of the Ashaiman constituency of the NDC and members of the DWM, Mrs. Rawlings toured Roman Down, Asenso Bar, VALCO Flats, Lebanon, Zeenu and Katamanso.
Nana Konadu told the victims that her visit was delayed because she and her husband had decided to wait for the government to first commiserate with the victims before they took their turn. She said she had pleaded with former President Rawlings to stay behind while he came to see things for herself first and joked she feared she will be trampled upon by the huge crowds that will meet her husband when he makes a tour.
The NDC Vice-Chairman said she identified with the plight of the victims because she felt very helpless in February when her residence was totally devastated by fire. She was thankful that Ghanaians of all walks of life had shown love and compassion and also donated various items to them. “If Ghanaians have shown so much love and care to our family it behoves on us to ensure that we show concern when they are also in distress,” she intimated.
The former First Lady called on the victims to remain strong and steadfast and charged the Department of Town and Country Planning to strategise on ways of diverting waterways within the metropolis. She recounted how decades ago the whole of Ashaiman was full of rivers and streams, which dried up after some time. “What I know is that once there were rivers and streams here they will find their way back and that is what has happened,” she said.
Mrs. Rawlings also paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Chief Imam of Ashaiman, Sheik Mustapha who expressed the community's gratitude to her for her expression of sympathy. She referred to the former First Lady as a true friend of the community because she had found time to wipe the tears of the affected people.
Nana Konadu also consoled families who lost loved ones during the floods. At one moment she was overcome by emotion when she hugged a young lady who had lost her father. Whole shops and houses were submerged in the floods and some shops had bags of rice and maize completely destroyed with the owners lamenting the loss of their livelihood. One shop owner lamented how he had secured a loan to purchase the items for his shop and was clueless as to how he was going to pay it back.
Residents pleaded with authorities to ensure that all the rubble and debris that had washed up on the streets and on the banks of waterways as well as in houses is urgently cleared by the metropolitan assembly to prevent an epidemic.
Former President and Mrs. Rawlings donated an amount of GH¢4,000.00 to the victims of the disaster.
MP for Kpone Katamanso, Nii Afotey Agbo said the dam at Katamanso was damaged during the rains and was partly responsible for the quantity of water that had flowed downstream. He said every effort was being made to resolve the problem and confirmed that the government had set up a high level ministerial committee to look into the disaster and recommend lasting solutions to avoid a recurrence.
Credit: Former President Rawlings' blog site