Deploy 48 Engineers Regiment to Upper West

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
 Dr Sandaare (middle) addressing the press. With him are the members of the caucus
Dr Sandaare (middle) addressing the press. With him are the members of the caucus

The Upper West National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Caucus has appealed to state agencies to act decisively to ameliorate the difficulties the residents of the region are enduring as a result of torrential rain that caused devastation to farmlands and road networks on August 13, 2021.

For instance, it urged the Ministry of Roads and Highways to liaise with the Ministry of Defence to, as a matter of urgency, deploy the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces to the area to create temporary access roads while efforts were made to rehabilitate the roads and bridges in the area.

Such intervention, the caucus said, should not be limited to the major roads but should also include feeder/ancillary roads that had equally been affected by the floods.

Addressing the press in Parliament yesterday on the destruction caused by torrential rain in the region, the Secretary to the caucus, Dr Sebastian N. Sandaare, urged the Ministry for the Interior, to conduct a thorough assessment of the impact of the floods to provide adequate grounds for the necessary state interventions.

“The Ministry of Food and Agriculture should liaise with the Finance Ministry as well as other development partners to secure funding to rehabilitate the four irrigation dams that have been adversely affected by the flood,” he said.

Affected roads

Dr Sandaare said the people of the Upper West Region were saddened beyond measure when in the early hours of Friday, August 13, 2021, they woke up to a torrential downpour which lasted for about 12 hours, resulting in the flooding of significant parts of the region, particularly, the Nadowli/Kaleo, Daffiama-Bussie-Issah and Wa West districts.

As a result, major roads linking the districts as well as roads connecting the districts to the regional capital and neighbouring Burkina Faso had been cut off, rendering commuters stranded, he said.

“It is therefore worth noting that beyond the major highways/trunk roads listed above, several other feeder/ancillary roads which connect communities within the districts as well as communities to the district capitals have received more than a fair share of the devastation, rendering them inaccessible,” he said.

The MP for Daffiama/Bussie/Issa indicated that the havoc caused by the torrential rain and the attendant flooding was not limited to the road infrastructure.

He said preliminary assessment by NADMO indicated that over 722 farmlands had been completely washed off, 336 persons displaced and over 155 houses destroyed, bringing the total number of people affected to about 1,605.

Additionally, he said four irrigation dams located at Owlo, Dakyie, Duong and Nadowli had broken their banks and had been equally washed off as a result of the disaster.

Stranded commuters

The MP also noted that commuters remained stranded as the alternative routes could not provide the necessary respite to the collapsed road infrastructure.

As such, he said people who plied their trade via those routes had been badly affected by the inaccessible roads.

“In the same vein, access to the market centres and business hubs in the region have also been affected adversely.

“Furthermore, and most importantly, the livelihood of persons in the affected communities is greatly threatened as foodstuff, livestock and crops have been destroyed as a result of the floods,” he said.