Seven-Hour Downpour Destroys Properties

One of the houses affected by the rainSEVERAL HOUSES, food crops and property worth millions has been destroyed in the Bolgatanga Municipality. Same is reported from other districts following a seven-hour heavy downpour that hit the Upper East Region on Tuesday September 1. The local people call this period in Grune, “Hu di wun gay sala”, which literary mean, “Eat your reserve”.

Unfortunately, local houses and farms cannot be rehabilitated; neither can any produce be taken from the submerged farms.  

Affected areas in the Bolgatanga Municipality include Tindongsubligo, Estate Residential Area, Winkongo, Pelingu and Sawaba, while affected businesses include Royal Hotel, Ex-Tee Hotel and Adom Kiddies International School.  

At the time DAILY GUIDE got to Estate Residential Area, Sawaba and Zuarungu, residents whose houses were engulfed by the rain water, had taken refuge on top of a building and a tree as they waited to be rescued.  

Before Monday’s downpour, most of the roads in the Bolgatanga Municipality had uncountable potholes, and with the rain, most roads have become worse. The few that are in use now could register accidents in the coming days if drivers do not exercise patience and caution as they dodge the potholes.

For the Winkongo, Pelingu and Tindongsubligo areas, farmers have lost crops including, millet and rice to the flood.      

The Upper East Regional Minister, Mark Woyongo, accompanied by the Regional Coordinator of National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Patrick Akake,   has been to these areas to inspect the situation on the ground and could propose an assistance package to the affected families.

Some of the affected persons who spoke to DAILY GUIDE bemoaned that the same incident occurred last year, and the then Government pledged to assist them but nothing was done. They have thus accepted their situation and are gradually working towards solving them without government intervention.

The Upper East Regional NADMO Coordinator, for his part, disclosed that the Regional Office had no disaster relief items to assist flood victims in the region and would call for help from the national office. He also asked members of the public to extend helping hands to the affected. He once again cautioned people against indiscriminate building along and in waterways.  

The Regional Minister assured the affected people that the Regional Coordinating Council would send SOS messages to the NADMO office in Accra and other Philanthropists to help the affected people and communities.  

Earlier, a similar downpour which hit Sandema in the Builsa District over the weekend also destroyed some local houses, personal effects and farm crops.  

DAILY GUIDE’s assessment of the situation has revealed that if the rain continued for long hours and days, a lot more public and private property would be destroyed.

There could also be famine in most homes, especially those in the deprived areas of the region. Most farmers had expected the rains in July. They thus waited to see some sign of more rains so they could apply fertilizer to their crops to induce a bumper harvest, but it never came.  

Some thought there would not be any serious rain this year so were preparing towards next year. Now most homes have not saved food and the few that had crops in the farms could not harvest them. There could also be a rise in the number of malaria cases if the water does not dry up quickly enough.

From Ebo Bruce-Quansah