The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has said it is incapacitated to deliver services efficiently because of a huge debt on its books.
According to NADMO, the current administration inherited GH¢34 million from the previous administration, a debt it was still grappling with, hence its inability to procure new stock to assist disaster victims as expected of it.
The Director-General of NADMO, Mr Eric Nana Agyemang Prempeh, told the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament last Monday that since he took over the administration of NADMO in 2017, he had been using money released from the Finance Ministry to service debts owed to suppliers.
“As we sit here, we have not been able to buy relief items this year and there are about 28 court cases pending before the courts,” Mr Prempeh told the committee.
Answering questions posed by the Chairman of PAC, Mr James Avedzi, who is also the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu North, on how well they were prepared with the onset of the rains, the NADMO boss indicated that the lack of warehouses in the district to store relief items had also compounded their problem.
He said NADMO currently used warehouses belonging to the National Security when available or had to buy relief items as and when they needed them because there were no warehouses to store them ahead of time.
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Mr Prempeh also made a passionate appeal to the Ministry of Finance to pay money due it on time to enable the organisation to offer the needed services to disaster victims as money due them for 2016 and 2017 were paid this year.
According to Mr Prempeh, NADMO also lacked procurement officers to procure relief items as the district level looked up to the headquarters and that caused delays in some of the items reaching victims on time.
The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, who was with the NADMO team, assured the committee that he was going to talk to the Finance Minister concerning the release of funds to purchase relief items for victims.
He sympathised with the families of the people who lost their lives during the rains last Sunday and attributed some of the causes to the improper sighting of signboards which at times disrupted people during the rainy season, apart from buildings on waterways.
Mr Dery also assured the committee that the government was taking steps to see how best to contain the floods or its after-effects.
While NADMO recounts its troubles, scores of people are grappling with the ravaging effects of the rainy season as some persons lost their lives last Sunday after four hours of rainfall.
The deaths come exactly a week after five others died after last week Sunday’s downpour. The fatalities were a woman and her child, two men and one other who was electrocuted.
Last year, a culvert near the Kpeshie Lagoon on the Teshie-La boundary swallowed the vehicle of Dr Aya Hayfron, a medical doctor who attempted to cross the drain on a rainy Monday evening. She was found dead the next morning.
Mr Avedzi, who is also the Deputy Minority Leader, promised to assist NADMO by adding the committee’s voice to theirs for the Ministry of Finance to release funds on time in order for them to procure relief items for victims.