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General News of Friday, 21 September 2007

Source: GNA

Flood victims appeal for building materials

Sandema (U/E), Sept. 21, GNA - Flood victims in the Upper East Region have appealed to the government and benevolent organisations to assist them with building materials so they could start putting up their houses.

The victims said many of them did dry season farming and needed to work on their housing before preparing for farming during the latter part of October.

The victims made these known during interactions with a team of benevolent organisations visiting the region to acquaint themselves with the effects of the floods.

"It would be difficult to combine building and farming but the two have to be done because we cannot continue to live in schools and at the same time work to feed ourselves.''

At the Sandema Preparatory School where about 150 people have taken refuge, Baba Akanawarlamiya, an old man who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said they needed cement to make strong foundations, coal tar to plaster the walls and roofing sheet.

He said the mud houses collapsed during the flood and their food and property washed away.

Their only source of food came from rations the District Assembly and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) gave them. Mma Asiaka Akanpanayari, who had her grand daughter with her, said she could save only two pans and a bucket when the water filled their house and they had to run to safety.

She and her two adult sons, daughter in-law and grandchild had been staying in the school for the past one month and now had to leave the classroom in the morning to sit under trees until classes were over so they could go back, she said.

At Nyansa near Sandema Mr. Anye Nalembe, who was sitting under a shed in front of the remains of his mud house, said the flood took him and his family by surprise when they heard shouts from their neighbour and realised that their surroundings were filling up with water.

"I called my wife and children and we run up on to a hill and sat there for about two hours until the water subsided and we got down. By then all our rooms were on the ground and my millet, rice and animals all gone. I could not save anything and I feel so helpless", he said.

Madam Abadigswe Ayengsire said many affected persons in her neighbourhood at Nyansa sought refuge on a hill for three days, got down to get some vegetables for cooking, and to scoop out the water that filled the rooms for those who had one or two rooms still standing. She said the family of six did not feel secure sleeping in the two rooms as the walls were still wet and the mud plastered roof leaked badly.

Pointing at the broken barn, she said all the family's millet was washed away and they were depending on vegetables grown in front of their house for their meals.