Weija flood waters recede as residents count losses
Flood waters at Weija and its environs have begun to recede, revealing the extent of devastation caused following the opening of the spill gates of the Weija Dam last week.
The recession of the flood waters is a result of the opening of the Weija estuary and a reduction in the volume of water from the Eastern Region into the Weija Dam.
Consequently, residents who abandoned their homes for fear for their lives have gone back to clean up and salvage remaining personal effects and other items.
The first casualty of the flooding has also been found at Tetegu — a 55-year-old man known as Addi Kwashie, aka Chocholotso.
His body was discovered by the Weija Police around 12:30 p.m.
Kwashie had reportedly run to take cover in a nearby house but ended up getting drowned.
This came to light when the Daily Graphic visited areas affected by the floods when the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) opened four spill gates of the Weija Dam to allow for the flow of excess water from the facility to save it from collapse.
At New Weija, Tatop, Tetegu, White Cross, Oblogo, among others, there were traces of the levels the flood waters had reached in homes, shops, schools and other facilities.
Some of the traces were at the ground, window and door levels.
There were also traces of refuse and debris in the homes of people at the various places.
On standby were the Marine Police, with their boat; personnel from the Weija Divisional Command of the Ghana Police Service, members of the Ghana Ambulance Service and the Ghana National Fire Service.
At Tetegu, for instance, for the first time in three days, the asphalted road leading to the town could be seen as residents cleaned their shops and homes.
Due to the power outage in the affected flooded areas, people who had generators switched them on to operate their businesses.
A victim of the flooding at New Weija, Emmanuel Afari, told the Daily Graphic that with the water receding, he and his family were now trying to test whether or not their electrical gadgets would work.
He said their clothes would all be washed, since Kente and other materials were all submerged in the flood.
Another resident, Alhaji Seidu, said he had lived in the area for 25 years but had never seen anything like the recent flood.
“I have not been home for the past three days and I am now going to see what is left in my house. We had to temporarily relocate when the flood came to our home,” he said.
Zenabu Azumah, another victim, said apart from losing her personal belongings, her business too had been badly affected, as bags of beans for ‘waakye’, cartons of fish and a new fridge were destroyed by the flood.
“I lost all my clothing and all I have left is what I wore on that day. I am still wearing it,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Weija-Gbawe Municipal Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Emmanuel Adu-Boahen, told the Daily Graphic that the organisation was assessing the extent of damage and the number of people displaced.
For his part, the Public Relations Officer of the Weija-Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Julius Sarpei, said the assembly members had been tasked to identify people who had been affected and displaced by the flooding, since they were with them on the ground.
He said as of 11 a.m. yesterday, the assembly was yet to take delivery of relief items from NADMO.
While on the rounds, the Daily Graphic team observed that vulcanisers around Tetegu, Tatop and Weija were not working due to the power outage.
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had indicated that until it was safe to restore power, it would not do so.
Yaw Opoku of Tatop Company Limited, manufacturers of concrete products, said the company could not work as a result of the flooding of its yard.
Sumaila, a vulcaniser, who was seen sitting idle, said he could not work because there was no light to power the machine.
He said he could only hope that the flood waters would recede further for the light to be switched on, since he had not worked for the past four days.
At the Talented Royal School where some staff members were seen clearing the debris left by the flood, the Headmaster, Anthony Torgorme, said nothing was destroyed, except for the debris that was left on the compound.
The school, he said, had to be closed, since they could not access it because of the flood.
At Tetegu, members of the National Council of Zamarama Chiefs had gathered to visit some of their members who were hit by the flood.
The President of the council, Chief Musah Yahaya Yandu, said between 80 and 90 per cent of its members lived at Tetegu and so they were at the place to assess the impact of the flood in the homes of those members.
Once that was done, he said, “then we will see how best to assist them”.