Gov’t Urged To Formulate Policy To Ease Floods
The Parliamentary Select Committee for Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises has urged the government to formulate a clear policy to mitigate floods, including negotiation with the government of Burkina-Faso on the management of the Volta Basin.
This should be followed by action plans by the appropriate government agencies that manage water flow.
The Committee made these recommendations in a communiqué issued in Tamale, in the Northern region, yesterday and signed by Mr. Charles Hodogbey, Team leader and Vice-Chair of the Committee and Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Ranking Member of the Committee at the end of a four- day working visit to flood prone areas in Northern Ghana.
The Committee visited the Central Gonja District in the Northern Region, the Talensi-Nabdam and Bawku West districts in the Upper East region and the Funsi and Sissala East districts in the Upper West Region.
The Committee further recommended the preparation of a national framework for the integrated development and utilisation of the Volta Basin to include a monitoring system that is accountable to the people.
It also urged the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), to work with the relevant bodies and agencies to develop a long-term plan and design for a comprehensive investment in water resources for entire northern savannah.
Mr. Hodogbey said the perennial floods in the northern parts of the country are due to a combination of factors, including excess water spillage from the Bagre Dam as well as free flow of water from rivers that have their source in Burkina Faso.
He said they also noted the lack of management of the torrential rains in the north in recent years, adding that this has been compounded by siltation of major and minor rivers, due in part to deforestation and farming on the river banks.
The committee said although the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has been committed to disaster relief, they do not see any comprehensive work plan and appropriate targeting of the relief items.
It also noted that several farms and some communities have been submerged by the flood waters but no meaningful economic activities have been provided to sustain the lives and livelihood of the people, resulting in people resorting to harvesting potentially unwholesome maize and other cereals affected by the floods.
The Committee said several bridges have collapsed and some roads have been washed off and attributed this to poor design and construction as well as weak supervision.