Rawlings tours flood-hit areas at Buipe
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has cautioned flood victims at Buipe in the Central Gonja District, to observe strict hygiene to prevent the spread of diseases. He also admonished them against the use of the flood waters for domestic purposes, to avert contamination. Speaking during a tour of the submerged Buipe communities, the former President who was visibly shocked at the extent of the devastation, noted that because the victims are living in crowded makeshift facilities, the spread of diseases is a serious threat that should not be taken lightly. "Observe strict hygienic behaviour to avoid disease. Diseases can be easily passed on because you leave in a cluster. Rubbish and faeces have been collected in the water so do not attempt to drink it," he stressed. Flt Lt Rawlings who was met by hundreds of people in the communities he visited, called on them to forge unity of purpose and endeavour to use clean receptacles to collect the potable water that had been provided for their use. He said when flood recede, rebuilding of communities should be done in an orderly manner, praying that the chiefs and district authorities would work in partnership to release land farther away from the banks of the White Volta, so that 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 stressed. He expressed the hope that once the gates of the Akosombo dam had been opened to spill water, the floodwaters will drain in due course. Flt Lt Rawlings who is also Founder of the National Democratic Congress said he is hopeful that government would be able to assist the people with building materials for the reconstruction of their communities. One of the women leaders in the area, Hajia Alima, complained about the temporary facilities they are being housed in, saying they are over crowded and lacked adequate water and food. While appreciating what government had provided to them through National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), she called for more action with respect to the provision of relief items as they are managing with very limited provisions. District officials confirmed that more water from Savelugu is being commandeered to supplement the supply of the resource to the people. A number of crops including pepper, yam, groundnuts, maize and legumes have been destroyed by the rampaging waters. Some of the communities complained that snakes, rats and other rodents are harassing them. They also called on NADMO to properly log the list of victims and distribute items to them equitably. "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: Ghana News Agency / Ghana