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Regional News Tue, 19 Feb 2008

Assistance to disaster victims must focus on reconstruction - NOGAID

Saboba(NR), Feb. 19, GNA - Mr Mustapha Sanah, Executive Director of Northern Ghana Aid (NOGAID) a Tamale-based International NGO has called on other NGOs and donors to collaborate to address problems of relief items to disaster victims and reconstruction of their homes. He said six months after the devastating floods that hit the three northern regions, donor assistance had not gone beyond presentation of relief items and collaborating to reconstruct their homes would reduce the plight and frustration victims suffered during and after the disaster.

Mr Sanah made the call when presenting relief items including building materials and some assorted drugs to the Saboba District Assembly for distribution to 10 communities that were hard hit by the floods last year at Saboba. The items included 210 bags of maize, 100 bags of rice, 25 bags of gari and 25 bags of iodated salt. The rest are, 130 bags of cement, 10 packets of roofing sheets, 10 bales of used clothing, 32 packets of roofing nails and large quantities of assorted cholera, malarial and diarrhoeal drugs worth 470,000 Ghana Cedis.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) supported NOGAID with funding through its fund for local initiatives to give relief to some 5,600 flood affected victims in the Saboba District in the Northern Region and Kassena Nankana District in Upper East Region. As part of the package NOGAID also registered 500 women and their children from the two districts under the National Health Insurance Scheme and paid the full premium to enable them access healthcare services.

Mr Sanah said NOGAID would continue to solicit support from its loyal partners to help give more relief and reconstruct homes of the affected persons to reduce their plight.

Mr Jacob Wassan, Presiding Member of Saboba District Assembly receiving the items described them as the largest ever in the district and assured NOGAID and its partners of equitable and fair distribution. He commended NOGAID and CIDA for their kind gesture and appealed to other NGOs and international donors for more assistance to help the victims improve their living standards.

Mr Gershom Nagbija, Chairman of Relief Items Distribution Committee said impersonation was one major factor facing the committee and efforts would be made to ensure the right victims received the items.

Source: GNA