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General News of Sunday, 23 September 2007

Source: GNA

Eleven persons died in Upper West floods

Wa, Sept. 23, GNA- The death toll in the recent floods that hit the Upper West Region is 11 with six of the deaths recorded in the Wa East District.

About 1,171 houses collapsed and more than 4,000 people, who were now living with relatives in crowded houses displaced. Eleven bridges had been destroyed making some parts of the region inaccessible while 16 sheep, three goats and a cow had been reported missing in the floods in the Lawra District.

The floods had also washed away 4,691 acres of crops and the remaining ones were covered by water, causing them to wither. Farmers in the region cultivated crops in later part of July following a serve drought that hit the region this year. Mr. Moses Dambo, Upper West Regional Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), made these known on Sunday when the Regional Minister, Mr George Hikah Benson presented relief items from the government to NADMO.

The government gave 1,000 mini bags of maize for distribution to flood victims in the region.

Mr. Benson gave the hint that distribution of relief package would start next Monday and said he would personally participate in the sharing of the items to ensure that the affected persons benefited from the assistance.

" I am going to travel on motorcycle to reach out to the communities that are inaccessible to assess the extent of destruction and ensure that the distress persons get their fair share of the cake," he emphasized.

Mr. Benson said the floods posed a big problem to farmers in the region and called on support from the government, the international community, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and public-spirited philanthropists for rehabilitation of affected persons. He said food and other basic items, cement, roofing materials and medical supplies were urgently needed to cater for the people, saying: "Some of the buildings that are still standing, cannot stand the test of time should there be more rains."

In a related development, Rainbow Aid, a humanitarian NGO, also provided 60 bags of maize, 10 bags of gari, 10 bags of millet, 60 bags of rice, 12 jaricans of cooking oil and 11 bundles of used clothes valued at 10, 000 Ghana cedis for the upkeep of the flood victims. Mr. James Sambian, a Director of the NGO, said the items were the NGO's widow's mite for the upkeep of the distressed persons whose property and livelihoods were destroyed as a result of the floods. Mr. Benson thanked the NGO for the gesture and called on other benevolent organisations to emulate Rainbow Aid to help the government to rehabilitate the people. 23 Sept 07