The lawmaker representing Bongo, Edward Bawa, has expressed grief with the utmost tone of frustration about the condition of over 800 constituents displaced and abandoned to their fate in the aftershock of the storms that dealt ruthlessly with his constituency and other parts of the Upper East region recently.
Some 6,285 people in the region, including schoolchildren and old folks, are reeling from diverse forms of displacement after an all-night windstorm, trailed by a terrific rainstorm, punched down several structures and separated hundreds of buildings from their roofs on May 30, this year.
The scale of havoc wrecked inequitably in 28 communities within Bongo alone has left many mouths open with a long look of horror.
“About 818 people and 210 schoolchildren in 18 schools have been displaced after both rainstorm and windstorm hit my constituency. These figures comprise 156 adult males, 193 adult females, 180 boys and 289 girls. Hundreds have been rendered homeless and many are displaced as I speak to you. So far, my checks have revealed that 423 houses including 3 low cost quarters are affected with their roofs either completely ripped off or partially torn apart and walls deeply cracked. One girl got injured as well,” Mr. Bawa told Starr News.
He added: “It’s over one week now since the disaster happened. These victims are yet to find relief. My heart is deeply broken over their condition and I just want to use this medium, as the Member of Parliament for the area, to rally support, as rapid as possible, from government for these survivors before their situation becomes worse than it already is. I cannot describe how worried I feel for my people who are confronted with this huge tragedy and how impatient I am to see them find relief.”
Affected schoolchildren study in makeshift classrooms
Among the victims are deprived schoolchildren who have lost both homes and classrooms in one of the heaviest weather-related disasters known to have struck the Bongo District in recent years.
Lessons, which were temporarily suspended in the affected schools in the wake of the disaster, have resumed with students combined in either makeshift structures or in the surviving rooms spared by the May storm.
“One of my circuit supervisors had his whole house ripped off. In many of the areas, we are making makeshifts. The PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) is helping to restore some of the classrooms. The district assembly, too, has deployed the technical team. They are in the field, rehabilitating the classrooms. It is not every classroom that is ripped off. In the meantime, some of the children are joining others in other classrooms,” the Bongo District Director of Education, Duncan Nsoh, said.
Not a single victim has received relief – NADMO
The figures announced so far are higher than the disaster records declared in the district last year, with experts saying the toll is likely to rise as more places devastated in the latest misfortune are being discovered.
“Not a single victim has received any form of support yet. Some of the displaced persons are living with their relatives. Others have been able to re-erect some of the destroyed rooms. Those who have not been able to do that are lodging with their families. I know of a woman and her husband who have vacated their matrimonial home. The man is living with a friend and the woman is gone back to her parents,” Alhaji Rafiu Tahiru, the Bongo District Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation, NADMO, told Starr News.
He further narrated: “A girl, aged about 12 years, got injured in the storm. She was at the market when the storm set in on a market day. Everybody was on their heels, running home. Along the line, she realised that she could not reach home before the rain would start. So, the best thing was for her to come back, wait and, after the rain, go home. As she was coming back to the market to hide, the storm brought down a mahogany tree. It landed on her. She sustained a cut on her head and the leg. Fortunately, it was not that serious. She was rushed to the hospital and has been discharged.”
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