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Water crisis hits Chamba following rainstorm

BY: Fredrick Daoyenikye
Some members of the Chamba community in the Nanumba North Municipality in the Northern R
Some members of the Chamba community in the Nanumba North Municipality in the Northern R

Chamba, a farming community in the Nanumba North Municipality in the Northern Region, is facing an acute water crisis following a rainstorm that hit the area three days ago.

The community of more than 15,000 residents which lies along the Bimbilla-Salaga road depend predominantly on mechanised boreholes for potable water.

However, after the rainstorm, about 16 high tension poles were destroyed, cutting off the Chamba community from electricity supply and disrupting water supply since all the boreholes are run on electricity.

The downpour affected about six adjoining communities and ripped off the roofs of about 100 houses and displaced many residents in the area.

Casualties

Six people sustained varying degrees of injury and four were treated and discharged, while two who were in critical condition were referred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) for further medical care.

Visit

The Minister designate for Defence and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, has visited the community to assess the situation at first hand.

"All the boreholes in this community have been mechanised and use electricity to operate.

This means that without electricity,the people cannot get water," the MP, whose constituency covers the community, said.

Mr Nitiwul appealed to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) to support the community and work assiduously to restore power as soon as possible.

In addition, he said, he was marshalling resources to provide NEDCo with 16 high tension poles so work could begin soonest.

The Minister designate for Defence also presented 175 packets of aluminium roofing sheets to the community for distribution to victims of last Tuesday’s rainstorm.

He said even though the rainstorm affected public buildings and institutions in the community, fixing residential houses was paramount since some affected people did not have places to lay their heads.

Magnitude of destruction

The Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Nana Agyemang Prempeh, said an assessment of the incident had revealed that 548 houses in all were affected at Chamba.

He said six schools, a health centre and the Chamba Police Station were also affected.

Nana Prempeh said NADMO would assist the community to fix all the challenges it was facing following the incident.

Dam

The assembly member for the Chamba West Electoral Area, Mr Daniel Biwati, said the entire Chamba town currently depended on water from a dam, which was untreated, for drinking and other uses.

He indicated that the residents were competing with animals for water from the dam. "For the past three days, this dam is what all the people of Chamba are relying on as their source of drinking water.

But the saddest aspect is that animals also come here to drink and sometimes enter to pollute the water,making it unhealthy for human consumption," Mr Biwati said.