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10.03.2005 General News

Rainstorm renders 3,000 homeless

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Tamale, March 10, GNA - Alhaji Boniface Abubakari Saddique, Northern Regional Minister on Thursday advised estate developers to adopt a better system of construction to make their structures stand rainstorms and unexpected hazards.

He said if a better approach to housing delivery was adopted, it would not only save the government money for other development projects but would also reduce the trauma people go through when such disasters occur.

The Minister was speaking to the media after he had visited some communities in the Tamale metropolis that were seriously hit by rainstorm on Tuesday night.

The affected communities included Kukuo, Kobilmahagu, Gbanyamli and Fuo, where some of the houses had their entire roofs ripped off while others were completely destroyed.

At Kukuo, Alhaji Saddique expressed sympathies with a newly wedded couple whose house had its entire roof ripped off on the very day of their wedding and assured them of government's assistance to rehabilitate the building.

The Minister noted that all the affected houses were not properly built, besides, there were no trees to serve as windbreaks. He urged developers to seek advice from the Department of Town and Country Planning to avoid building on waterways.

Alhaji Alhassan Mamoud, Northern Regional Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), called on the consortium of NGOs working in the region to assist to resettle the displaced people. He said initial inspection by the NADMO indicated that about 150 houses in the four communities had been badly damaged while some 3,000 people had been rendered homeless.

He said an "SOS" message had been sent to NADMO headquarters in Accra for assistance while the Tamale office was registering the affected households to see the nature of assistance to extend to them. Alhaji Mamoud advised the communities to plant trees to serve as windbreaks to avert such disasters in future and indicated that NADMO would this year, distribute about 700,000 seedlings free to the District Assemblies in the region for distribution to the various communities for planting.

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