Lightening kills 4 in Garu-Tempane

Three persons died last Tuesday from lightening strikes, while 1,451 people were displaced, following a rainstorm that hit parts of the Garu-Tempane District in the Upper East Region.

The deceased are 10-year-old Class Three pupil Emelia Attiga; 12-year-old Class Five pupil Ezekiel Atiiga, and nine-year-old Class Two pupil Gladys Atiiga, all of the Meliga Primary School.

Barely a week after the incident, another tragedy occurred at Gagbiri, where a 20-year-old male student of the Bawku Senior High School, Azisi Musah, was struck by thunder during a downpour, bringing the number of recorded deaths to four.

At least 100 houses and 1,451 people, made up of 674 males and 773 females, have been affected by the rainstorm.

The victims, most of whom are peasant farmers and are already running short on food, will have their situation worsened, as the disaster has occurred in the lean season when families have little food to feed on.

The storm caused serious destruction to houses, schools, churches, among other structures. At least five schools had their roofs ripped off, while several economic trees, including shea, were also affected.

The communities affected are Zesire, which was the worst hit, with 250 people displaced; Largatinga, Woriyanga, Bianbog, Garu,Milliga, Kugashiegu, Gogbiri and Yezedug.

Others are Nabina, Siguri, Kugri, Zansirigbuliga, Worikambo, Denugu, Samaduri, Songo, Sabsunde and Tempane.

The other communities are Yabraogo, Dabilla, Kpatia, Gozesi, Kolmasug and Gagbire, which have been cut off from Garu as the road is impassable.

At Kugragu in Garu, about 10 high tension electrical poles were destroyed, posing a danger to residents.

Mr Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, the District Chief Executive for Garu-Tempane, told the Ghana News agency (GNA) that maternal health in the area was under threat due to lack of access to the town centre by some communities.

He said there were signs of havoc from the rainfall this year, as the Ghana Meteorological Agency had forecast that the early rains would be accompanied by devastating winds in the district and its environs.

Mr Alalzuuga said the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the district assembly had started education on radio on the need for residents to take precautionary measures.

He said affected persons would be temporarily sheltered in classrooms while efforts were made to get relief assistance for them. 

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