Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Sunday led a government delegation to visit victims of affected areas of the recent rainfall-related disasters in the Upper East Region and to mourn with the bereaved families.
The areas included Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Bawku, Kasena Nankana West, Builsa North, Binduri, Garu, and Bongo.
The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) said the rainfall led to 19 deaths and 19 injuries with several hundreds of people and households displaced.
The deaths were as a result of lightning, drowning and electrocution.
At Manyoro in the Kasena Nankana Municipal Assembly, the delegation met chiefs, families of deceased, affected persons and community members.
Addressing the gathering, Vice President Bawumia expressed his deepest condolences and commiserated with the bereaved families and victims of the rains.
“On behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the people of Ghana I extend our sincerest condolences for the loss of lives and property. Government is indeed concerned about the casualties,” Dr Bawumia said.
The Vice President announced government’s plans to assist victims and the affected communities with several relief items ranging from rice, cooking oil, sugar, blankets, mosquito coils and nets, soaps, bails of used clothing, and plastic buckets, cups and plates.
Others include polymats, body bags, mattresses, roofing sheets, maize, water purification tablets and cash of GHc50,000 cedis, a statement issued by the Office of the Vice President in Accra, on Sunday, said.
Vice President Bawumia bemoaned the use of low quality materials in the building and construction of shelters, particularly in the northern parts of the country.
He, therefore, appealed to the people to ensure there was adequate amount of cement in their building projects to make them strong enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Dr Peter Atupaare, the Chief of Manyoro, who is also a Law Lecturer at the University of Ghana, expressed gratitude to the Vice President and the Government for the gesture.
“What happened to us is a natural disaster that no one anticipated. In times like this you sometimes just need the comfort of people. What the Vice President has done today is quite remarkable and I commend him,” the Chief said.
“A person who stands by you in times of difficulty is a good person and must be remembered in the future when he also comes to you for help. We have noticed what government and the Vice President have done and we shall remember them in due time”.
“I am a native of Manyoro and throughout my father’s reign as the chief of this community till date I never saw a Vice President come to us like what this current Vice President has done. We are grateful to Dr. Bawumia.”
The Vice President later visited the Tono Irrigation Dam to inspect how the torrential rains had affected it leading to some spillovers.
He inspected some current structural defects of the Dam and pledged government’s commitment to fixing it.
“As you already know, government is taking giant steps to address the perennial flooding that occurs in the northern regions as a result of the spillage from the Bagre Dam.”
“We will soon commence work on the Pwalugu multipurpose dam to provide irrigation for about 860 hectares of farmlands, drinking water and also check flooding.”
“With this and the Tono Dam we will be able to cover large tracts of land for farming in the north and so we will do everything to ensure the Tono Dam is in good shape to serve its purpose,” Dr Bawumia indicated.
In the delegation were Mr Joseph Kofi Ada, Minister of Aviation and Member of Parliament (MP) for Navrongo Central, Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior and MP for Nandom, Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister and Acting Upper East Regional Minister, the Director General and Regional Director of NADMO, as well as the MMDCEs of all the affected areas.