Torrential rains claims 24 lives in Ghana

Posted: June 21, 2010 in Agriculture/Poverty, Health
Tags: , , , ,

The death toll of people affected by Sunday’s torrential rainfall that hit most southern parts of the country, especially, the greater Accra Region has now reached a peak of 24, Coordinator of the of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Mr. Kofi Portuphy said on Monday.“The national figure has gone up to 24 and we are doing everything possible to rescue those who are still trapped by the floods and provide relief items to them,” the NADMO boss was quoted as saying in AFP.

The floods are also reported to have destroyed several properties including homes and washing away roads thereby, displacing thousands of people.

According to Mr. Portuphy, his outfit in a search and rescue operation in the Greater Accra region during the rains on Sunday retrieved eleven bodies with two of them found trapped in the Ashaiman tunnel underneath the expressway that links Accra and Tema.

Twelve of the dead are said to be recorded in the Central region with ten casualties recorded in Agona Kwanyako Township alone. The Volta Region was also said to have recorded one casualty.

The dead according to Mr. Portuphy had been retrieved and deposited at the morgues, adding that his outfit (NADMO) would convey an emergency meeting after which relief items would be allocated to the displaced persons and victims of the floods.

AFP reports that among those killed were four children aged between three (3) and twelve (12) years.

Several others are also feared missing according to officials of the Ghana Police Service who have intensified their search and rescue operation with their counterparts from NADMO.

“We have heard several reports from the affected areas of people missing,” Reuters quoted Police Spokeswoman, Olivia Turkson saying.

According to eyewitnesses some residents in Ashaiman and Agona Kwanyako were trapped on their roof tops while others too climbed trees together with their animals as the rains flooded their rooms and kraals.

According to Adom fm report, a lactating mother who had seen her baby goes to bed later found the baby floating in water when she realized the level of the flood had reached her chest.

Many rivers have burst their banks and have taken over communities in some parts of the country. Eye witnesses say, Sunday’s rain was one of the worst in history to have hit the southern parts of the country.

City authorities have attributed much of the urban flooding to illegal structures built on waterways and failure to dessilt gutters and other drainage systems.

Prior to the start of the rains some two months ago, city authorities in Accra, Ashaiman and Tema have embarked on demolishing exercises of buildings in unauthorized areas believed to be situated along waterways but their actions were greeted with ill feelings among the affected people who claimed to have stayed in those areas for several years without being affected by floods.

The severity of Sunday’s rain has left many people off the hook as to whether the actions of the Tema, Ashaiman and the Accra Metropolitan Assemblies were justified or not.

Mr. Kempes Ofosuware however on Adomfm said the demolition exercise embarked upon by the TMA will continue unabated.

In September 2007, flooding from torrential rains devastated large areas of the Northern parts of the country leading to a humanitarian crisis. As a result of the rains, thousands of people were left vulnerable to waterborne diseases whilst food shortages became a topical issue. The Upper East Region was the worst affected by the rains killing at least 20 people and displacing over 90,000 people. Nearly, 20,000 homes were destroyed, according to UN reports.

The meteorological Services Agency is yet to give details of the volume of the Sunday’s rains.

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