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General News Mon, 28 Mar 2005

Supervise contract works - contractors told

Yapei (NR), March 28, GNA - The Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Monday charged contractors to constantly inspect and supervise construction works particularly building construction to avoid the execution of shoddy works.

He said the situation where only artisans were left alone to execute construction works were the major causes of the perennial rainstorm devastations in the country, which needed to be stopped once and for all.

The Vice President gave the advice after he and the Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique as well as Alhaji Amadu Seidu MP for the area inspected affected houses and institutions at Yapei in the East Gonja District, where a heavy rainstorm last Friday caused a lot of damage to property running into millions of cedis.

Almost every house in the community was affected by the storm and unless with the intervention of NGOs and the government to come to their aid, it would take time before the people could resettle.

About 135 houses were damaged, with one of them severely damaged when a kapok tree fell on it, while a 6-Unit Classroom block of the Yapei Presbyterian Primary School had its entire roof ripped off and another 3-Unit Classroom block of the E/A Primary School ripped off leaving the furniture at the mercy of the weather.

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The police and the CEPS were not spared as all the roofs of the police barracks were ripped off and the structure housing the CEPS at the Yapei checkpoint was also affected. The St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and the mosque could not also withstand the storm and their entire roofs were swept away.

High and low tension pools of the Volta River Authority (VRA) had also been pulled down while most of the service wires were cut off, leading to complete blackout in the entire community and stalls at the newly constructed market were damaged.

There were, however, no casualties.

Alhaji Aliu described the devastation as regrettable saying, "Don't leave carpenters and masons alone to execute works on housing. You need to constantly inspect and monitor their activities to ensure that the right things are done so that buildings stand rainstorms".

He appealed to NGOs to, as a matter of urgency come to the aid of the community to reinstall life so that they could continue with their economic activities to enhance their living.

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Alhaji Aliu assured the chief and the people of the area that the government would immediately address their needs, particularly the affected schools to ensure that children went back to school as quickly as possible as soon schools reopen.

He commended the Northern Regional office of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) for providing tents immediately to assist the police there to use temporarily.

Alhaji Saddique, the Northern Regional Minister said he had already sent an "SOS" message to Accra for assistance and that plans were far advanced at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council to assist the people immediately.

Dignitaries that accompanied the Vice President included the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Alhaji Iddrisu Adam, Dr Harun Majeed, a former deputy Minister of Fisheries, Alhaji Sulemana Adam Achanso, DCE for Bole.

Source: GNA