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31 July 2017

Tamale flood: Public health risk as some residents resort to open defecation

There are fears of a possible outbreak of diseases in parts of the Tamale metropolis as some residents resort to open defecation following recent floods there.

Within the last five days, residents in six districts in the Northern Region including Sanerigu, Gushegu, Sabooba North, Nanumba, Kariga and Cherponi have been counting their loss flowing a torrential rainfall.

In some areas the residents have resorted to open defecation as their only place of convenience has been destroyed.

A resident said many of their water sources have been polluted. According to him, the dam which they draw water from has also been polluted opening them up to all sorts of diseases.

According to reports, more than 3000 people have been rendered homeless with four people losing their lives.

Several bridges, roads, and farmlands have been badly affected.

The District Chief Executive of the Nanumba North, Abdulai Yacob told Joy News they could not have access to Yendi, Salaga and adjoining Nanumba South due to the floods.

“We are completely cut off from the national grid and it has made life difficult for the people,” he said.

The victims have blamed the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for neglecting them.

“As you can see, so many houses have been destroyed and we don’t know where to lay our heads. Some of us are sharing a room with over 20 others which is not healthy in any way.

“Some people have been forced to travel out to get a place to sleep,” one victim said.

Local NADMO authorities are helpless in responding to the calls for help from the victims of the flood.

Mr Yacob said the Assembly’s financial situation is not good and they have not gotten any money since the beginning of the year.

“Because of the protracted chieftaincy dispute, we have used most of the money we have in maintaining peace. I am therefore appealing to the government to come to our aid,” he said.

According to them, nothing in the form of relief items has come in as yet and they are hopeful that some items will be received soon. 

Joy News correspondent Martina Bugri who has been touring some areas to speak to some of the victims Monday reported of one person who is sick but cannot go to the hospital.

She said the sick person who has been suffering from diarrhea since the flood, said he could not go to the hospital because he doesn’t have any money and his National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card was also swept away by the flood.

Martina reports he now has to make do with medicines from friends to keep him going.

According to her, there are complaints of stagnant water all over the place-breeding mosquitoes making sleeping at night a big challenge.

Meanwhile, the government has been faulted for making negligible provision of resources for flood disasters for this year.

The ranking member on the Works and Housing Committee of Parliament, Samson Ahi says the government should as a matter of urgency, fall on the contingency fund to make money available for the Housing Ministry to prepare the country in readiness to deal with flood related disasters.

According to him, the budgetary allocation in the 2017 budget is inadequate and will not make a dent on the relief needs of flood victims.

Mr Ahi has said there is no money to purchase relief items for the victims of the floods that hit Tamale, the capital city of the Northern Region.

“Only ¢38,000 [allocated] to tackle flood in the whole country,” he said adding it doesn’t appear that the government is ready to address flood problems in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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