Ghana begins 3 days of mourning for flood, fire victims

Flags will fly at half-mast today to begin three days of national mourning for the over 200 lives lost to Wednesday June 3 flood and fire disaster, but government is urging Ghanaians to wear black clothing and red arm bands during the period.

The 3 days of mourning will end on Wednesday June 10 with a memorial service for the departed near the site of the fire disaster at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to be attended by President John Mahama.

“As we go about our work and duties during the 3 days let us remember the victims and pray for their souls and pray for the strength and comfort for their families and friends”, a statement issued Sunday by Communications Minister, Edward Omane Boamah said.

The Minister said government has taken responsibility for the hospital bills of all victims of the flood and fire as directed by the President at the Flagstaff House last Thursday.

Affected persons and communities have been receiving water, food and non-food items a day after the disaster as part of government’s effort to lessen the plight of the survivors.

The food items include bags of rice, cooking oil, canned fish, milk, sugar, tea bags, tomato paste, noodles among others.

Blankets, mattresses, mosquito nets, clothing and basins have also been distributed.

Joy FM is currently spearheading a week’s massive relief effort to victims and survivors of the twin disaster.

The statement from the Communications Minister also extended the President’s commendation to individuals and corporate organisations that have provided various forms of support to help with relief efforts.

“And he [President] is encouraging persons and organisations with donations to send them to the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council, near the Teachers Hall in Accra”, the statement directed.

Meanwhile the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) says more than 8,000 people displaced or affected by the floods are still in need of basic supplies such as water and food.

The Osu Clottey NADMO Coordinator, William Ayensu, told Joy News the organisation is overwhelmed by the huge numbers of persons still needing assistance and has appealed for assistance from benevolent organisations.

Many houses particularly those around the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue have been destroyed by the floods. There are reports that some of the flood victims have been sleeping in the open.

Torrential rains on the night of Wednesday June 3 left Accra in a crisis as dozens drowned in a sea of flood that washed away humans, properties, pulled down houses and left tunnels, drains choked with debris.

In the midst of the storm, tens of passengers, drivers, and petrol station attendants were also burnt to death in a horrifying fire incident at the Goil Filling Station close to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.

Most of the deceased persons were seeking refuge at the filling station and houses and shops nearby but were burnt to death when an explosion occurred at the station.

Charred bodies were retrieved from the scene of the fire but the devastation left behind by the fire will take many months to repair.

Story by Ghana | | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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