65-year-old woman dead in Upper West floods
An elderly woman aged 65 has been confirmed dead at Funsi in the Wa East District following last Friday’s heavy rainfall that destroyed over 100 houses in the Upper West Region.
The woman, identified as Madam Bachong Bawuobilia, was asleep while the building collapsed on her, Regional Manager of the Ghana Red Cross, Mr Jeremiah Afako, revealed.
Mr Afako explained that the daughter-in-law of Madam Bawuobilia, whom she shared a room with, had earlier woken up to do her morning chores when the incident happened.
She then raised an alarm immediately the room collapsed on her.
Madam Bawuobilia was then rushed to the Saint John’s Health Centre at Funsi, but medical authorities pronounced her dead on arrival.
The Red Cross Manager said the deceased had since been buried in line with Islamic rites.
Mr Afako gave this update in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
Meanwhile, the Upper West Regional National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) Coordinator, Mustapha Ahmed, has said, more than 800 homes and farms were destroyed by the flood.
Providing details of the assessment of NADMO, he indicated that 336 persons had been rendered homeless as 155 houses were destroyed because of the flood.
According to him, 1,605 smallholder farmers in Nadowli-Kaleo, Jirapa and Lawra also lost their farmlands.
The floods also rendered major roads connecting communities unmotorable.
The situation has also affected transportation, leading to hikes in fares and food prices.
The Upper West Regional NADMO Coordinator, Mustapha Ahmed, provided details of the situation following an assessment by NADMO on Monday, August 16.
He has subsequently called on benevolent individuals and institutions to assist in complementing the efforts of NADMO.
“We are pleading with the religious bodies to assist us with their structures as a temporary measure for these displaced people to at least have a good shelter as we move in to give them some relief packages.”
NADMO to distribute relief items to victims
The regional NADMO coordinator disclosed that they have already received some relief items to be given to the affected persons, beginning August 17.
“The assessment we did indicate to us that they (the victims of the flood) need food items. Therefore, we are sending them rice, oil and other food items. We are also sending them buckets to aid in bathing and other chores. The season is also not favourable with regard to mosquitos, so we are likely to send them mosquito coils and nets as well,” he said.
Roads minister tours affected communities
Meanwhile, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, has assured that contracts would be awarded within a week to construct bridges affected by the rains.
The minister described the situation in the region as a national disaster and promised that the government would mobilise resources to get the roads fixed immediately to ease problems related to transportation.
“We have had an aerial view of the situation, even though it has never been underestimated. We are overwhelmed by what we have seen so far. We are, however, confident that the situation is not beyond solution,” the minister said.
According to him, a lead contractor has been selected to move to the affected sites after arrangements are concluded.
He added that his ministry is helping NADMO and all other relevant authorities to get relief items for persons whose farms were affected.
“The government is approaching this issue with all seriousness, and by a week, we will ensure that the reconstruction is started,” he emphasised.