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General News of Friday, 14 September 2007

Source: Agence France-Presse

18 dead in Ghana floods: Government

ACCRA, Sept 14, 2007 (AFP) - Eighteen people have been killed after flooding hit dozens of villages in northern Ghana, a government team that visited the devastated area said Friday.
Last week, the minister in charge of the affected region, Alhassan Samari, said at least six people lost their lives in the flooding caused by torrential rains. But residents had warned the death toll might rise further.
The government team told reporters that 260,873 people in the west African nation have lost their homes to the floods.
"We have a huge problem to deal with and we have to treat it with utmost urgency," Information Minister Oboshie Sai-Coffie said.
The displaced people are sheltering in schools and church buildings, he said.
During a visit to the affected areas, President John Kufuor assured that the government would mobilise resources to restore roads, bridges and other infrastructure destroyed by the floods.
"Government cannot sit unconcerned for the people to suffer untold hardships," he said, adding that engineers would soon be sent to the area.
He said the government had approved 67 million dollars (48 million euros) to provide relief materials for victims of the disaster.
Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross were also planning to visit the area to independently assess the extent of damage.