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27.04.2006 Disaster

Volta Lake Disaster Victims Get Support

By The Ghanaian Times

SCORES of survivors of the April 8 Volta Lake disaster and stranded settlers evicted by officials of the Game and Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission from Digya National Park, have received relief items worth ยข10 million.

The items: 20 bags of rice, three bags of sugar, 80 loaves of bread, three gallons of large size vegetable oil, and 10 cartons of soap, were presented to the victims and settlers at Tepa Abotoase by Ghana Homeless People's Federation and the People's Dialogue both non-governmental organizations.

Presenting the items to the victims, Ms Janet Adu, an Executive Member of the Federation appealed to Boat Owners and Operators to adhere to basic safety rules and called for public enquiry into the circumstance leading to the disaster.

"The outcome of such investigation should not be shrouded in secrecy; infact the committee should sit in public and all those whose actions contributed to the disaster made to face the full rigors of the law," she said.

Alhaji Alhassan Amadu, a survivor, Mr. William Asiedu, Worawora Zonal Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Tepa Abotoase Assemblywoman, leaders and opinion leaders of Abotoase, received the items on behalf of the victims.

She urged other philanthropic organisations and individuals to assist both survivors, relatives of dead ones and the victims of the action of Game and Wildlife officials.

Ms Adu explained that five bags of rice, loaves of bread, one gallon of cooking oil, four cartons of soap, and a bag of sugar were for victims of the disaster, whiles the rest of the items were to be transported to Mancheri, temporary makeshift community for the evicted from the National Park.

Alhaji Amadu commended the donors for the gesture, which to him, would enhance their livelihood, shattered by the eviction and subsequent disaster.

Mr. Farouk Brimah, Executive Director of People's Dialogue noted the full enforcement of the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Ghana Shipping law to regulate lake transport in the country.

He explained that the laws provide the legal and administrative framework for the effective enforcement of safety measures in lake-transport.

He called for a comprehensive training scheme for lake-transport operators and navigators. This, he said, would equip them with modern and internationally accepted navigation techniques.

Therefore, Mr. Brimah appealed to lakeside communities to desist from felling trees in the lake because the submerged stumps pose danger to boat operators and passengers.