General News of Saturday, 6 April 2013
About 646 persons are yet to receive relief items and assistance from the National Disaster Management Organisation, NADMO after a series of rainstorm rendered them homeless and destroyed their property.
The figure discredited earlier reports that over a thousand were affected.
The rainstorm which started two weeks ago ripped off the roofs of homes in eight communities within the newly created Afadzato South District in the Volta Region. They were Ve-Koloenu, Ve-Golowati, Ve-Dafor, Ve-Ando, Tafi Abuife, Tafi Atome, Logba Tota and Logba-Alakpati.
This came to light when DAILY GUIDE joined the tour of the Deputy Regional Minister, Francis Ganyaglo, to the affected communities. He was accompanied by the Regional NADMO Coordinator, Simon Miles Baka, the Afadzato South DCE, Angela Oforiwa Tay and other NADMO operatives.
According to the Regional NADMO coordinator, his outfit was currently broke and the stores were totally empty, hence making it difficult for them to promptly attend to the affected families. He explained that the Disaster Organization which hitherto had adequate resources and relief items all year round was yet to receive funds to run this year.
That notwithstanding, National Office was working round-the-clock to get some items for the affected persons. He also advised the various Municipal and District Chief Executives to ensure that the mandatory allocation of five percent of their common fund to disaster management was complied with.
This, he said, would help to assist disaster victims and communities when disaster strikes before NADMO came in. DAILY GUIDE observed that the affected residents were patching and re-roofing their buildings while others perched with relatives awaiting assistance from government.
The rainstorm also affected school buildings, markets and other valuable personal effects of the residents. One of the victims who was re-roofing his house told DAILY GUIDE that the delay in assistance has forced him to find some money to re-roof one of his rooms so his family can have a place to lay their heads.
The Deputy Regional Minister, Francis Ganyaglo, who commiserated with the victims assured them that they were not alone and that government was doing all it could to come to their aid. He commended the community for coming to the aid of their affected brethren and called on faith-based organizations, philanthropists and NGOs to assist the government in relieving the victims of their plight.
The DCE, Angela Oforiwa Tay, who also assured the victims of support however bemoaned the indiscriminate felling of trees in the forests surrounding the various communities. She said the situation was so serious that most of the forests have turned into mere bushes.
This, she noted, has made communities in the district vulnerable to rainstorms, because “they have destroyed all the wind breaks.” She added that prior to the disaster, sensitization of the communities to desist from destroying the forest had fallen on deaf ears.
Madam Tay was hopeful that the disaster would help drive home their message. She also urged them to plant more trees around their homes to serve as wind breaks to prevent future occurrences.