Gov’t asked to declare state of emergency to alleviate plight of flood victims

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Akosombo Dam spillage

The leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Minority Caucus in Parliament have urged government to declare a state of emergency for action to alleviate pains of flood victims.

They said a declaration had become necessary to enable government speed up state assistance by way of deployment of resources to assist communities hit by floods a result of the Akosombo Dam spillage, and thus in need of support to alleviate the attendant damages, loss and suffering.

This came up during a brief ceremony at Sogakope, South Tongu when the leadership of the NDC and Minority Caucus in Parliament donated truckloads of relief items on behalf of Mr John Dramani Mahama, former President and NDC Flagbearer to chiefs and Members of Parliament (MPs) for some 11 affected constituencies for onward distribution to the victims.

Some communities in the 11 constituencies; North Tongu, Central Tongu, South Tongu, Anlo, Keta, Ketu South, South Dayi, North Dayi, Afadzato South and Kpando, in the Volta Region and Asuogyaman in the Eastern Region had been hardly hit by the recent floods rendering people homeless, destroying properties and investments.

The Volta River Authority, (VRA) weeks ago, initiated controlled spillage of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams intensifying it in recent days for the purpose of addressing the constantly rising water levels which posed a significant threat to the dams, resulting in an unprecedented flooding in the three Tongu Districts in the Volta Region being the hardest hit.

Mr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, MP for Ajumako Enyan Esiam and Minority Leader, said the government had not shown real commitment to the plight of the victims and that it was about time a state of emergency was declared to reduce the suffering of the affected persons.

“We also believe that the VRA has not been proactive. After causing this man-made disaster, their donation is coming in trickles. A strong institution as VRA should have done better than what they are doing. We urge them to also start as soon as possible to mobilise some resources and get involved.”

The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has not been efficient in supporting the affected areas but I cannot only blame NADMO. I must blame the government because NADMO is such that if you don’t give them the resources, they can’t work.

The situation we’re seeing here, I’m sad that the government is downplaying it. It’s a major man-made disaster, first of its kind in the history of this Republic.

“We urge them to declare a state of emergency in these affected areas and ensure that actions are taken to reduce the suffering of the masses,” he called.

Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, National Chairman, NDC said a declaration of a state of emergency was apt as it might attract donations from the international community to aid relief efforts in the affected communities.

He said: “We have as a country found reason to donate to other countries in situations like this. We know the nature of our financial situation now. If we think that the required relief will be beyond us as Ghanaians, let us swallow our pride and then declare to the international community that Ghana is in crisis and whoever are our friends can come to help us.”

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