The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has visited victims of recent devastating floods in the Upper East region.
The floods, caused by the opening of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso and days of torrential rainfall in northern Ghana, has reportedly led to the deaths of 10 persons, destruction of large hectares of farmland and hundreds of livestock, and washed away parts of some major roads, cutting off some communities.
Some of the areas affected include Somaaman, Sakapa, Bluima, Katigri, Pwalugu and Bolga.
Dr. Bawumia, who is on a working tour of the northern regions of Ghana, set aside his original programme for his first day in the Upper East Region on Thursday September 10, 2020, to tour affected areas and people for first-hand knowledge on the extent of the disaster.
Speaking at Anateem, where some families are temporarily accommodated, Dr. Bawumia expressed government’s condolences to the families of the ten people who perished, and farmers who lost their livestock and crops.
“It is a disaster and a very sad situation. We have unfortunately lost lives, about ten people, I am told, have lost their lives. On behalf of the President, I express the government’s commiseration to families of the victims,” said the Vice President.
Dr. Bawumia added: “Many farmers have lost their livestock and crops. They have lost a lot of their crops and for farmers when you lose your crop, that is a year’s income so we have to find a way of cushioning these farmers. We have to find a way to provide relief for the farmers to help them.”
Addressing the press during an assessment visit to the Kubore Zebila-Bawku road, which has seen parts washed away by the heavy flood, Dr. Bawumia said the flood has been devastating communities for years and there has to be a permanent solution to it, hence the Akufo-Addo’s government’s decision to invest massively in the Pwalugu Dam to help address the problem.
“At the end of the day, this is a problen that we have kept experiencing year after year and the question I am sure is in the minds of every Ghanaian is what are we doing about it?,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“We have basically understood that to deal with this problem fundamentally, we have to have a flood control in the context of the Pwalugu Dam.
“That is the most important antidote to all of these. That is why we have moved to secure the Pwalugu Dam project, and this project is the biggest dam project we have in the northern region.
“It is the single biggest investment in northern Ghana since independence; it is about 1 billion dollars and the contractors are on site.”
The Vice President said prior to the flooding, the contractors had already commenced work by clearing the site up to the river.
He added that the contractors would have to wait for the waters to subside and then divert it for work to continue.
On the washing away of portions of the Kubore road which links Bolga and Bawku, the Vice President said the Ghana Highway Authority is waiting for the water to subside before contractors move on site to fix the bridge and reconnect the road.
The Vice President was accompanied by the Upper East Regional Minister, Patience Tangoba Abayege, Minister for Interior Ambrose Derry, Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways Anthony Abayifa Karbo as well as National and Regional Directors of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
Officials of NADMO, led by Director General, Eric Nana Agyeman-Prempeh, handed over relief items to the affected.