The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed its sympathies with the families of the 28 people who have been confirmed dead in different parts of the Upper East Region as a result of unending torrential rains.
In a statement signed by its National Chairman Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the biggest opposition party said it was shocked by the extent of destruction of life and property by the rains and urged the government to up the ante with its response.
Read the NDC’s full statement below
STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS ON THE DEATHS AND DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY TORRENTIAL RAINS IN THE UPPER EAST REGION
The National Democratic Congress has learnt with shock and sorrow the loss of several Ghanaian lives and the massive destruction of property in recent days in the Upper East Region. We mourn with the bereaved and sympathise with the injured, as well as console those whose properties have been destroyed in this unfortunate turn of the weather.
While it is virtually impossible to prevent natural disasters, we believe that the government has a duty to immediately alleviate the suffering of affected citizens and bring relief to the people.
The NDC has found out that on Monday, 14 October 2019, there was a heavy downpour that capped several days of torrential rains in several communities in the Upper East Region, in particular, Bawku, Builsa North and South, Bongo, Kasena Nankana East, Garu Timpane and numerous other communities.
In all, 28 persons have been confirmed dead. Several farms have been submerged under floodwaters, several houses have collapsed and countless numbers of our fellow citizens have been rendered homeless. In addition, numerous persons sustained injuries linked to the collapse of buildings and are currently receiving treatment in some medical facilities across the region.
In all of this, it appears that NADMO has been overwhelmed, notwithstanding the fact that early warning signals had been given by the Meteorological Service. As a result, government officials are merely pouring out needless lamentations and their overall response to this tragedy has been slow.
It may be recalled that in 2016, the NDC-controlled Parliament took concrete steps to adequately resource NADMO to prevent and mitigate disaster, by re-enacting the NADMO Act (Act 927, 2016,). One key intervention in the new NADMO Act was the establishment of the Disaster Fund which was aimed at adequately resourcing NADMO to deal with disasters in the country.
Unfortunately, upon assuming the reins of power in 2017, President Akufo-Addo has failed to implement the new NADMO law by operationalising the disaster fund. Clearly, the vision of the NDC to put NADMO on a sound footing to deal with disasters took a nosedive when NPP assumed office. The NDC, therefore, calls on the government to implement the NADMO Act without any delay, as the unpredictable weather may portend dangerous times ahead for all our countrymen and women.
We hold the hands of our fellow citizens in these times of sorrow and mourning, and assure them that a future NDC administration would do all in its power to employ the resources of the state to limit to the minimum the loss of lives and the destruction of property. As politicians, that is our overriding duty: the protection of life and property.
May the Almighty Himself comfort and soothe your losses.
Issued on Friday, 18 October 2019
Hon. SAMUEL OFOSU-AMPOFO