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Aftermath of Floods in the North

2007-08-29 20:31:15
This article has been read 687 times.

The heavy rains that hit Sandema in the Upper East Region last Saturday leading to the loss of property running into millions of cedis has put fear in the people of the area as looming dangers of suspected cases of cholera seem glaring.

A source at Sandema told The Chronicle that for the past one month, the Ministry of Health has recorded 27 cases of suspected cholera. The source attributed the cause to the dumping of mats used in burying dead bodies into some of the major streams and rivers in the area, which overflowed their banks and caused the floods.

It explained that normally, these mats were burnt after being used in burying dead bodies in the dry season but hang on trees during the rainy season. "But residents no longer hang them during the rainy season but throw them into running waters thereby polluting them" the source said.

When the District Director of Health Services (DDHS), Dr. Mensah Afful was reached on phone, he denied any suspected cases of cholera and said that, the Ministry of Health however, was on high alert should there be any reported case of cholera in the District. Dr. Mensah said he had already contacted the District Assembly to intensify education about the situation. He disclosed that the last time the District recorded a case of cholera was in 1999.

In a related development, the District Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization, (Nadmo), Mr. Nyaaba Agambila has said that Zonal Coordinators of the Organization have recorded 530 houses that were affected by the floods with most of the victims taking shelter at schools and the Community Centre while others were putting up with friends and relatives.

He said a report on the need assessment of the affected areas has since been submitted to the Regional Office of Nadmo in Bolgatanga to be sent to the Headquarters in Accra for assistance for the victims. Mr. Agambila traced the source of the floods to neighbouring Burkina Faso saying they might have opened an overflow gate of a Dam without informing them, "because the floods that swept across Sandema and other areas take their source from Burkina Faso" he added. He noted that the White and Red Volta and River Mognori that take their sources from Burkina Faso were all flooded.

He explained that even the subsequent rains that were equally heavy did not get the rivers flooded. "If my allegation is true then I don't think it is morally correct for Burkina Faso to treat it in the way it is", he lamented.

Mr. Agambila observed that if buildings had not put up in low lying areas the situation would not have been that bad. The coordinator said the sanitation situation in Sandema was also not the best saying, "people throw litter and whatever into gutters. Little did they know that in the present times there could be floods." He said the most affected people were those in the low lying areas like Kogdama, Kadama and Zuedema.

On the extent of damage he revealed that in one instance, a woman (trader) lost 400 bags of millet at Kogdama and a middle-aged man also died. He described the situation as very pathetic.

source: Chronicle

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