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Mahama donates to victims of Keta tidal waves

Former President John Mahama on Saturday donated some relief items to residents who had been affected by tidal waves last week.

More than 1000 people were displaced in the Anlo district, Keta, and Ketu South Municipalities in the Volta Region.

At a brief event at the Keta Municipal Assembly, Mr Mahama handed over 1,000 bags of rice, 3,000 mattresses, 2,000 pieces of canned fish and tomatoes, boxes of Nido and Milo to the MPs in the area.

In a brief address, Mahama underscored the need for the government to make an intervention to prevent future disasters.

The 2020 flagbearer of the NDC also charged the Akufo-Addo government to show sympathy to residents along the Keta-Aflao coast whose livelihoods have been badly affected.

“Even if you cannot provide them with anything, just a visit to show that you care about them is important,” Mahama said.

Counting Losses

A visit to Keta and its environs by XYZ News team on Saturday indicated that the water was receding but life had not returned to normal.

“Our properties have been damaged. I sell groceries here but when the floods came, I lost my beans and rice to it. Other personal effects had been destroyed too,” said Enam, an owner of a shop.

Some residents whose houses had been flooded the previous week were also seen salvaging what they could after the floods.

More than 60 families that had also been housed at the only community centre at Kedzikope–some 700 metres from the seashore– lamented the neglect of the government.

Madam Berlinda, a Middle-aged woman said they had no food items, water, and toilet facilities at the centre.

“They bring us some food but it is not enough. The sea is angry and we cannot go fishing now. We wish the government intervenes quickly,” said Kobby, a 35-year-old fisherman.

Neglect

Some of the victims lamented the failure of the government to make an intervention to assuage the situation.

The member of Parliament (MP)for Keta, Kwame Dzudzorle Gakpey, when reached, criticised the Akufo-Addo government for neglecting the victims.

“No official from the Presidency has been to my constituency to see the devastating effects of the tidal waves. Not even the Presidency, Vice President’s office, and Ministry of Works and Housing,” Gakpey lamented.

Sand winning

Despite President Akufo-Addo’s silence on the frustrations of the victims, the Majority in Parliament have blamed the disaster on sand winning.

At a press conference in Accra, Deputy Majority leader, Afenyo Markin, showed some pictures that suggested that the fetching of sand from the Keta coast resulted in a terrible situation.

But Mr Gakpey has rubbished the Sandwinnig claim, saying “the pictures are not from Keta but Sierra Leone.”

“I, Kwame Dzudzorle Gakpey, I’m challenging them that if this picture is coming from Keta, I’ll resign as a member of Parliament,” the MP told Power FM’s Piesie Okrah at Keta.

He said although sand winning is happening everywhere across the country, he cannot admit it caused the floods.

To him, the tidal waves can be best described as a natural disaster, arguing that there was a ban on sand winning on the coast.

Gakpey also indicated that the failure of the Akufo-Addo government to continue the Keta sea defence project that was commenced by previous governments along the Blekuso stretch is why the tidal waves caused damage to properties in the area.

“The second phase of the Keta sea defence project has stalled and this government has not seen the need to start phase two of the project,” he added.

He also descended on the government for not allocating funds for the project, stressing “they did not capture the project in the last budget.”

Asked whether there is the need for the people to relocate from the coast, Mr Gakpey dismissed the suggestion outrightly and called for swift government intervention.

“If you look at this area, we are living in between the sea and the Lagoon.”

“If you say we should relocate, do you want us to relocate into the sea or the lagoon?” he quizzed.

He added, “the permanent solution is the sea defence wall… Why won’t they build the sea defence?” Gakpey asked.

 

By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana

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