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General News of Monday, 17 September 2007

Source: BBC

Floods: Personal Account From the North


The floods in northern Ghana, and other parts of Africa, only serve to make the economic situation of these countries much worse.

The main industries in the affected regions are typically agricultural.

I am a farmer myself in the Saboba-Chereponi district.

I haven't been able to sell most of my produce because of a lack of demand.

Yet, a lot of foreign imported maize is being shipped to most of the flood-affected areas, such as Wa district.

To think that local produce could not be procured for this emergency goes to show how dependent and therefore vulnerable we are to these shocks.

There is plenty of local foodstuffs (judging by my own experience) available but the authorities prefer to bring out the 'begging bowl'.

Floods are not exactly unusual in northern Ghana.

But it is quite clear that the authorities are lacking in policy measures to deal with such emergencies.

I have just lost 38.5 acres of my rice field.

Many more smallholders have lost significant proportions of their planted crops this year.

The consequences of these losses on food shortages for the coming year is not a pleasant thought to contemplate.