Buipe drowns in month-old flood - Sparks fears of disease outbreak
There could be an outbreak of waterborne diseases at Buipe in the Central Gonja District in the Savannah Region following a month-old flood which has submerged parts of the town.
For now, a number of public latrines have been submerged, leading to the contamination of water sources, including wells, dams and boreholes.
The situation has caused fear and panic among residents due to the possible outbreak of an epidemic in the area.
A month-old flood, occasioned by the overflow of water from the Black Volta, coupled with torrential rain, has caused massive devastation in Buipe and its environs.
So far, more than 5,000 people have been displaced, while a number of structures, including houses, schools and health facilities, have been submerged, according to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
Checks by the Daily Graphic showed that some of the victims were staying in classrooms or with relatives.
The National Disaster Manager of Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), Jonathan Hope, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said: "There is a significant risk of increased cases of waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dengue fever and the upsurge of malaria due to increased mosquito breeding grounds".
He said communities in the area were still inundated with flood waters, and that they were facing water, sanitation and hygiene challenges.
“There is a need to enhance the awareness sessions for water-related diseases and vector-borne diseases which are likely to escalate during the floods," he added.
Mr Hope indicated that the GRCS's preliminary assessment showed that this year's disaster was more devastating, adding that his outfit had provided about 21 emergency family tents and other relief items to the victims to alleviate the plight of the victims.
While urging the Ghana Health Service and other health providers to also step in, he reiterated his outfit's commitment to provide some relief items to the displaced persons.
The Paramount Chief of the Buipe Traditional Area, Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor II, who toured the area to assess the situation, appealed to the government and philanthropists to come to the aid of the flood victims.
He said the situation was not only affecting the livelihoods of the people, but also having a negative impact on the economic activities in the area.
“Our bridge area, which is the economic hub of the whole of Buipe and beyond, has been submerged in water. So, it is affecting even our economy seriously," he said.
Meanwhile, personnel of NADMO have been assessing the extent of damage and evacuating victims who have been trapped in the flood waters.