The Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Eric Nana Agyemang Prempeh, has said that the government and its agencies are doing their best to ensure those affected by the Akosombo Dam spillage get their lives back.
Giving an update on the government relief efforts after the Akosombo Dam spillage at Bator in the North Tongu District last Friday, Mr Agyemang Prempeh said the government through NADMO, and other state agencies were working around the clock to ensure the safety of the people.
On what NADMO had been doing to protect the lives of the victims, he said the first action it took was to team up with the VRA to conduct a rapid assessment of the situation.
That, he said, was intended to get firsthand information to enable it to provide the victims with the needed assistance.
Guided by the information they fetched through the rapid assessment, he said, “The VRA, collaborated with NADMO to launch a comprehensive relief effort, which includes the distribution of essential supplies and relief items to the affected communities.”
To minimise risk among the affected people, the NADMO boss said they conducted extensive education and awareness campaigns to inform the victims about safety protocols and actions they needed to adhere to.
Mr Agyemang Prempeh added a team from the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Army was deployed to help in response and rescue operations to ensure that lives were not lost.
“The Ghana Navy Patrol team was also deployed at Asuogyaman and Sogakope to patrol, monitor and also undertake any evacuation that may arise,” he added.
According to Mr Agyemang Prempeh, the VRA provided trucks, pickups and buses to aid in the evacuation and relocation of the affected people to safe shelters.
Through the combined efforts of the VRA, National Fire Service (NFS) and NADMO, Mr Agyemang Prempeh reported that water tanks were also provided to ensure the supply of potable water for the victims.
He said the health of the victims also became an issue of concern so the Ghana Health Service (GHS) directed the District Health Directorates to assign health personnel to the affected communities.
“To avert any possible outbreak of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, skin diseases, mobile clinics were set up in all the safe havens,” he added.
He further disclosed that the National Emergency Operations Committee (NEOC) was formed and stationed in the North Tongu District and mandated to coordinate response efforts in all the eight affected districts.
Dealing with questions of what NADMO is doing to prevent chaotic situations as recently happened at Kizito, one of the safe havens, the Deputy D-G of NADMO in charge of Technical and reforms, Mr Seji Saji, said the victims have been categorised into various groups with leaders to ensure orderly distribution of the relief items.
He explained that the chaos as reported by the media was caused by individuals and organisations who failed to donate their relief items through NADMO or the NEOC.
He used the opportunity to appeal to organisations who wish to donate to the victims to get in touch with the Members of Parliament and the District Chief Executives for directives on what to do with their donations.
The Deputy Minister of Information, Madam Fatimatu Ababubakar, who moderated the programme, said the update has erased the wrong impression that the government was not on the ground monitoring the situation and bringing relief to the victims.
Bala Ali, ISD