Victims of Zabuzugu rainstorm disaster
The National Disaster Management Organization(NADMO), the constitutionally mandated body responsible for relief services to disaster victims in the country appears to either be sleeping on job or not caring about over 2,000 rainstorm victims in the Zabzugu District in the Northern Region.
It has been about two weeks now when heavy rains and wind storm wrecked havoc on seven communities including Go-lanyili, Gor-kukani, Kukpaligu, Nakpali, Kwori, Belindo, Nbeibudim and the Zabzugu township and destroyed over 162 houses.
The torrential downpour on Thursday March 15, which rendered more than 2,000 residents homeless, also did not spared schools and churches in the District, as four Primary schools , four churches and a Junior High school roofs were all rift off.
Speaking to THE REPUBLIC in parliament on the disaster, Hon Alhassan Umar , Member of Parliament (MP) for Zabzugu constituency said, since the Thursday 15th March, disaster, neither the Regional nor the National NADMO has been at the disaster scene to take inventory of loses and to make provision for the victims who are currently under the mercy of the weather.
According to him, women and children in the affected communities are currently homeless thereby putting their health condition at high risks, stating,” apart from the cold weather these residents are also exposed to various health problems including snake bites and other harmful reptiles.”
The MP said the torrential rainstorm has brought down hundreds of houses with many roofings, school buildings, churches and trees uprooted, leaving the entire District in a sorrowful and hopeless conditions.
Hon Alhassan Umar
Currently, he said the over 2,000 victims have been forced from their homes to perched in diminutive structures of relatives, friends and others benevolent to rest their bodies for the next day.
Hon Umar described the situation as, “very worrying” as victims who could not find any place to perch are still living in very precarious environment without any form of assistance from both the Regional or the National disaster management outfit.
The ZABZUGU lawmakers however expressed dissatisfactory over the neglected treatment on his people, saying, ” The NADMO should absorb itself from extreme politics of transferring and dismissing staff and rather concentrate on its core function as disaster management organization to save life’s and property in time of needs,”
He also accused the NADMO for discriminating against the rural folks in time of disaster, questioning why the organisation is always quick to address disasters problems in the cities but very slow to act on the rural folks who farm to feed the nation in time of disaster.
He said, since the disaster only the local authorities of NADMO have visited the communities and collected data without any form of help to the people, nothing that, the victims are still camped in wretchedly structures with their properties too endangered.
Mr Umar further expressed fear that, the situation could trigger epidemic that would deteriorate the plight of the victims, in delay in sending reliefs items to them as more downpour are expected in the coming days.
“This is March, by April we should start experiencing more rains, so whatever they are doing they should hasten up and come to the aid of the victims to ensure that these victims have some form of safety, temporal shelters to their heads before the rain comes,” he lamented.
At the moment, the MP said the victims would needs at least some basic relief items like blankets, clothing (both used and new), mattresses, buckets, food items and provision to keep them alive and active.
He therefore called on government through NADMO and the Ghana Health Services(GHS) to intervene immediately with relief items and medical aid to save the souls of his constituent.
“My appeal to the NADMO, both the National and the Regional to hurry up because the rains would set in very soon. The Ghana Health Services should also consider visiting the victims to provide them with medical aid “, he said.
While assuring to use the little MPs shares of GetFund to rehabilitate the affected schools, Mr Umar also appealed to Non Governmental Organization(NGOs) and Philanthropist to come to the aid of the victims with relief items, for since the disaster, they have not received any aid package from theNADMO secretariat.
Zabzugu District, formerly called Zabzugu-Tatale District is one of the 26 Districts in the Northern Region and was carved out of the former East Dagomba District (Yendi) in 1988 by PNDC Law 207, (Act 462) and in 2012 the district became one of the newly created districts due to the carving out of Tatale/Sanguli District.
The District, according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, has a population of 63,815 representing 2.6 percent of the region’s population, with Zabzugu as the district capital and is located in the eastern part of the Northern Region and covers an area of 1,100.1sqKm2.
It shares common boundaries with Tatale/Sanguli District to the east, Yendi Municipality to the west, Nanumba North District to the south, and the Soboba District to the north.
Majority of residents constituting about 93.5% of households, especial the rural localities in the district are engaged in main stream agriculture, particularly crop and livestock farming and fishing.
Nonetheless, the MP said, the rains storm had left big economic scare on the the constituency and fear it could further widen the poverty gap between the districts and rest of the country.
For that, he called for pragmatic national policies to manage and contains disasters and aid victims with timely intervention.
Sources: www.therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba