Thousands of Houses Submerge At Gwira, Nzema; But No Relief Support
Scores of residents in the Gwira traditional area in the Nzema East municipality in the Western Region have been displaced, and several houses and other buildings collapsed, after an unusual flood that hit many communities in that area.
The flooding occurred after series of heavy downpours recorded in that part of the region, leading to the Ankobra river overflowing its bank and spilling over into several towns and communities along its boundary.
While some are attributing the incident to mining activities in the area, others also linked it to the excessive heavy rain pattern recorded in the area this year.
Residents told The Anchor that, since 1968, the area has not experienced any such flooding, compared to this year’s own that virtually swept out entire communities. Residents were left helpless and unable to salvage anything – as animals, dead and alive and other belongings, seen floating on the water, being carried away.
The disaster, which took many by surprise, occurred last week, as the water lasted in the affected communities for about a week, causing thousands of houses and other building structures to collapse.
This was after the water completely entered people’s homes, stores, churches and classrooms, including the Gwiraman Senior High School, and also cut off the main road.
Interestingly, the paramount chief’s palace at Bamiankor was also not spared by the flood, which left residents in some cases trapped.
No life was lost, but the receding waters wreaked extensive havoc.
Aside from houses, several items of property, including home appliances, motorbikes, engines, livestock, uncompleted structures, documents and other personal effects running into millions of Ghana cedis, were destroyed.
Some of communities and areas badly affected are GwiraWiawso, Eshiem, Betenase, Besowa, Agbaasie, Akosonu andthe GwiraBanso township itself, among others.
But the residents, who are counting their losses, are yet to receive any help from the authorities. They told The Anchor, that everything has been left in the hands of their chiefs, who are taking control of the situation, in their own way, to ensure their subjects are safe and catered for.
Some of the chiefs, this paper has gathered, have taken it upon themselves to lobby individuals, as well as benevolent donors, to secure some foodstuff, such as rice, for the victims to survive on temporarily.
According to them, even though officials at the Nzema East Municipal Assembly are aware of the disaster, they are yet to receive emergency relief items from national disaster management organization.
They indicated that, though the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Nzema East, Dorcas Elizabeth Ampah, has led a delegation to visit some of the communities where records have been taken, victims of the flood are yet to receive any help from the assembly.
The affected residents are, therefore, appealing to benevolent organizations and donors to come to their aid. They also expressed fear of a possible outbreak of malaria.
Meanwhile, some of the traditional rulers have told this reporter that plans are far advanced to persuade residents who have built their houses in the low-land areas to be relocated to high grounds so as to avoid any loss of property in a similar fashion in future.
According to this paper’s information, a vast tract of the stool land is being cleared and prepared to be allocated for residents living in valleys and perhaps waterways.
Meanwhile, the Volta Regional capital Ho, reportedly experienced a heavy downpour last Saturday, resulting in flooding of the municipality, thereby creating fear and panic among residents, who feared for more of such rains within the year.
According to multiple media reports, the nearly three-hour downpour saw the main business centre of the capital, popularly known as Civic Centre, flooded, as the main storm gutter around Togbe Afede’s palace could not contain the gushing water flooding the roads and shops in the process.
Residents described this year’s floods as historic in many years, while the victims appealed to the government to assist them to replace their lost items.
The Civic Centre enclave, which is the heart of business activities in the municipality, became a restricted area for more than two hours, even after the rain stopped, preventing vehicular and human movement in the area, and the only human activity that could be heard was wailing.