Our Slow Response To Emergencies Needs To Stop!

AS at yesterday, Sunday, July 30, 2017 we had been told that victims of the Tamale flood were yet to receive relief from the authorities.

PATHETIC, isn’t it?  How many days since the incident happened?

BUT this is the reality and which is gaining currency and becoming more of a norm—that in emergency situations like floods and fire disasters—our authorities take days and in some cases weeks to respond.

IN fact, Today is not surprised at the reports that emergency assistance has still not got to the over three thousand residents of Tamale metropolis whose lives have been shattered by the recent floods in the regional capital of the Northern Region.

RATHER, what we do best which is done globally is that anytime a disaster strikes in any part of the country you have national officers immediately going to the place to sympathise and empathise with victims, and making all kinds of promises.

ALREADY, we have seen the Second Gentleman of the land, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, visit Tamale and assure the victims of government’s support.  This high profile visit by the vice president, in the view of Today, speaks volumes of the fact that government is concerned about what has befallen the people of Tamale.

HOWEVER, it is one thing sympathising with victims of natural disasters (which is good), and other thing, assisting them with some relief items.  And the second part is where those of us on this paper have a problem.

IT’S almost a week now and we are still being told that the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) is expected to send relief items to the flood victims.

FOLLOWING the incident some of the victims, we understand, have resorted to sleeping in the open, exposing them to all kinds of diseases.  The situation in Tamale is grave and has been further worsened by the fact that aid to the victims keeps on delaying each passing day.

WHY our authorities keep delaying relief items to natural disaster victims in this country is something that beats the imagination of Today.  Not long ago, when we marked two years of the June 3, 2015 twin disaster of floods and fire, we learnt that several of the victims were yet to receive compensation from government.

IT is in the light of the above and the worsening plights of residents in Tamale that Today is calling on the powers-that-be to immediately assist the victims.  Government needs to be mindful of the fact that it is its primary responsibility to improve upon our wellbeing and that includes when we are in situations like the flood in Tamale which has left in its wake destruction of properties, farmlands and sadly the loss of lives.

THOUGH we would have expected our authorities to have responded early enough, it’s not too late.  The many flood victims in Tamale still need help and we must not delay any further.

WE also want to use this medium to reiterate the need for us to look at preventing some of these preventable disasters.  For instance, it is common knowledge that choked gutters and buildings standing in waterways are some of the factors that contribute, particularly to floods in some of the flood-prone areas of Accra.

IT’S, therefore, surprising that we know that these are some of the contributory factors to floods in this country, yet we pretend all is well with us.   The point is that these floods will continue to wreak havoc on us if we do not tackle firmly the root causes of some of these natural disasters.

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