Rawlings Tours Buipe Flood Areas
Former President Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has cautioned flood victims of Buipe in the Central Gonja District, to observe strict hygiene to prevent the spread of disease within their temporary relief camps. He called on the victims to desist from using the floodwaters for domestic purposes because they are contaminated. Speaking during a tour of the submerged Buipe communities, the former President who was visibly shocked at the extent of devastation said because the victims were living in crowded makeshift facilities, the spread of disease was a serious threat that should not be taken lightly. “Observe strict hygienic behaviour to avoid disease. Diseases can be easily passed on because you live in a cluster. All the rubbish and faeces have been collected in the water so do not attempt to drink that.” The former President who was met by hundreds of people in the communities he visited also called on them to be unified in purpose and endeavour to use clean receptacles to collect the potable water that had been provided for their use. On the rebuilding of their communities, former President Rawlings said when the floods recede the rebuilding of communities should be done in a more orderly manner, praying that the chiefs and district authorities will work in partnership to release land farther away from the banks of the White Volta so the people are not at risk of future floods. “We will be better off if we can build our homes at a safer distance from the riverside to avoid future flood displacement,” the former President advised. He was hopeful that once the gates of the Akosombo dam had been opened to spill water, the floodwaters would drain away in due course. Flt Lt Rawlings who is also Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said he hoped the government would be able to assist with building materials for the reconstruction of the communities. He appealed to them to protect the school property they were being housed in for the benefit of their own children. One of the women leaders, Hajia Alima, complained about overcrowding and the lack of adequate water and food. While appreciating what government had provided through NADMO, she called for more action with respect to the provision of relief items as they were managing with very limited provisions. District officials confirmed that more water from Savelugu was being commandeered to supplement the inadequate provision within the relief communities. Whole farming communities producing pepper, yam, groundnuts, maize and legumes, have been destroyed by the rampaging waters. Some of the communities complained that snakes, rats and other rodents were harassing them and also called for NADMO to properly log the list of victims and distribute items to them all as only those who were living in the relief camps were being catered for. “Some of the victims are living with relatives in outlying areas but they are ignored when they seek to obtain some of these items. If they all choose to come and live with us in the camps they will overflow,” one victim told the former President.
Source: President Rawlings’ blog site - http://jjrawlings.wordpress.com