Tamale Disaster Victims
2005-03-14 19:32:00This article has been read 856 times.
The over 2,000 people in the Tamale metropolis who were rendered homeless by last Tuesday, March 8, heavy downpour were still stranded over where to lay their heads and where to keep their property has become a big blow for the authorities to alleviate their predicament, The Chronicle has witnessed.
Almost a week after the serious disaster occurred in the two suburbs of Tamale, Kobilmahagu and Kukuo, the affected people have not yet received any aid in terms of food, water and mattresses.
Chronicle follow-up on the incident that destroyed many houses and other property worth billions of cedis, including the walls of the Northern Regional Minister, has revealed that, most of the victims were lodging in summer huts that were meant for their pets.
Incidentally, none of these animal houses, mostly for hens, sheep and goats, was cemented and they were very small in sizes.
Other victims who were afraid of thievery had been keeping themselves in the affected rooms, whilst others were sleeping outside with their belongings.
The few others who had friends have moved with their families to perch with them in the nearby communities. This has led to congestion in most of the houses, since one five-bedroom house was occupying over sixty-two people.
The Chronicle was told that, the incident had as well prevented most of the school children from attending to classes, because they had to watch over their properties to enable their parents attend to their various works.
It was alleged that, some of the robbers in the area had also taken advantage of the rain or the disaster to rob the affected people.
Speaking to the paper, some of the victims complained that they had found it difficult feeding their families, because their store of food were affected and destroyed by the storm.
â€œWe are also thinking on how to get money to rebuild our houses. We donâ€™t want to depend or rely solely on the Tamale Metropolitan assembly (TMA) or NADMO because they are not trustworthy,â€ they asserted.
According to the people, though they were waiting to hear positive responses from the authorities, they would not be surprised, if nothing came for them.
â€œWe were faced with similar disaster somewhere last year, but nothing good came from the Assembly and the NADMO,â€ they said.
They however called on the government to assist them, since most of them were poor and had no means of rehabilitating their buildings.
The president of the Northern Regional League of Youth Associations, Mr. Salifu Abass, also one of the victims, condemned the inability of the TMA to provide the victims with food items and mattresses as â€œfirst aide.â€
He blamed the incident also on the Assembly for not playing a leading role to ensure that the people were well educated on how to settle or build in marshy areas.
In a telephone interview with the paper, the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) and the Northern Regional NADMO boss appealed to the victims to remain calm and give them a little time to make better preparations for them.
According to the MCE, Alhaji Adam, he had not been at peace ever since the incident occurred.
â€œI feel the same way they are feeling because they are my people, but because NADMO and the Assembly are not having anything in their coffers, we have to go through the appropriate quarters to consult the authorities,â€ he said.
The Northern Regional Minister, Hon Abubakar Saddique Boniface, in a chat with the paper, noted that the NADMO boss had been sent to Accra to meet the authorities to seek valuable assistance, and he would also make a follow up.
The Minister however, appealed to NGOs and other donors to come to his aide to support the affected people.
He advised the people as well to consult the Town and Country Planning department all times before putting up any building.