Around 1,500 residents, encompassing women and children from 500 households, find themselves displaced by floodwaters in Buipe, located in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region.
According to the Central Gonja office of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), 239 adult males and 230 adult females, in addition to 348 boys and 427 girls, have been compelled to evacuate their homes.
NADMO further reports that three public toilets and an immeasurable number of private ones are now submerged, posing potential health hazards.
The deluge has overwhelmed food stores, engulfing fifty acres of farmland and leaving three private schools inundated.
Mohammed Mustapha, the Central Gonja District Director of NADMO, expressed his discontent in an interview with MyJoyOnline, accusing the management of the Bui Dam of negligence for failing to notify the affected communities, contradicting their earlier promise to educate individuals along the banks of the Black Volta River before any spillage.
“Period to this water spillage this season, they [management of Bui dam] told us that they would come because their water level was still high and so, we should prepare a budget for us to use seven days to sensitize the people around the river banks.”
“Yes, so, Buipe, Banda, Bole, and Kintampo North NADMO Directors, did collaborate and submit the budget to Bui Dam as requested.”
“But after submission, they failed to turn up or communicate to us again until we began seeing the water coming into people’s houses and farmlands. So, it’s a failure on Bui Dam for not living by their words”, he bemoaned.
The Director recounted similar behavior by Bui Dam last year where they denied the spillage only to later visit Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor I to claim responsibility for it.
He, however, commended the Ghana Red Cross Society for their continued support, “because apart from the 14 home kits they gave us, they also sent volunteers to help evacuate the victims. GES also handed over the 6-unit R/C primary school block to us to accommodate the displaced”.
Mohammed Mustapha later appealed for engagement between the government and traditional rulers for the permanent relocation of residents.
But attempts by Myjoyonline to reach out to officials from Bui Dam for their of the allegation yielded no results.
Meanwhile, the affected communities have increased from four last year to seven this year.
They include Buipe Zongo, Buipe Bridge, Evelyn Buipe Bridge, and the Catholic education area. The rest are Buipe Market, Ali Complex, and Sawaba.
The Ghana Red Cross Society National Disaster Coordinator, Jonathan told Myjoyonline, “We are looking at Savannah Region specifically, Buipe, Daboya, and other surroundings. So, we put up some preparedness measures by training about forty volunteers in the Region to assist NADMO with regards to evacuation as well as assist in the health education because the flood usually comes with other health-related risks.”
“We had a meeting with NADMO and agreed to assist with emergency family tents with residential packages and First aid. We are also mobilizing relief packages,” he indicated.
He said his outfit would be launching a National disaster campaign and follow up with whatever intervention they would bring to the victims.
Our team came face to face with a young mother of two, Asana Umaru full of tears not knowing where to turn to with the children. She said her husband, Fuseini refused to listen to her not to travel leaving her alone not knowing where to turn to with the children.
It also took our news team time to convince a pregnant woman, Aisha Imoro who was still lying inside to move out of her room to safety.
Some of the victims who were on their way out narrated their stories to Myjoyonline.
One of them, Adam Tanko explained that “as for this year, the water is too much. As of now, we don’t have a place to lay our heads yet.”
“So, as you can see, we are hanging around. What we just harvested, is in the water because life first. So, we are pleading with the Government to come to our side. The water is from somewhere as we are sure is from Bui Dam because as of yesterday, the watermark was small but we went to bed and woke up the morning and my house was flooded. So, rainwater alone can’t do that. We want the Government to bring the Bui Dam people to order. They should respect the lives over here because we are human beings and Ghanaians too,” Adam Tanko added.
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