Deputy National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) Edem Agbana, has called on government to respond to the plight of the people of Ketu South by providing immediate relief interventions for the victims of the tidal wave nearly a week ago in that part of the country.
Mr Agbana expressed disdain at the slow pace the National Disaster Management Organization(NADMO) is moving to the aid of the displaced people of Ketu South. He said it is important that NADMO moved in quickly to provide relief interventions for the residents whose livelihoods have been halted by the onslaught of the tidal wave.
He also impressed the need for government to embark on finishing the sea defense of the coastline of the area and others in the country in order to avert any future disasters from happening rather than opting for the relocation of the people of the area to a different area.
Mr Agbana said this in an interview with Berla Mundi on the New Day show on TV3, Friday, June 4.
He was speaking on the back of the tidal wave that struck the people of Ketu South in the early hours of Saturday, May 29. Affecting communities like Agavedzi, Salakope, Adina, Blekusu and Amutsinu, razing down about twenty houses and displacing approximately a thousand people in the process.
“It appears as though we are becoming a country where when there are problems, we see cameras moving there, we see NADMO moving in to provide some relief and after days or weeks, we abandon the people waiting for the next disaster to happen. We certainly cannot develop our country this way, it is sad. I listened to some of the residents, they actually embarked on demonstrations about three days ago because these are people who are already devastated by the fact that, from 2020 the borders have been closed, these people are traders, they are cross border traders and so no incomes, how they are even managing to survive is a story for the gods” he pointed out.
He added that “only for a natural disaster like this to happen again, simply because of the recklessness of government because if government was not reckless they would have finished the sea defense project. Again this thing happened on the 29th of May, tomorrow will be exactly a week and we are now hearing that NADMO is moving to the place today, what is the essence of disaster management? It is to respond to emergencies so it happened last week Saturday. The people have been crying out for help, embarked on demonstrations, they are crying that they don’t have food to eat. It took the intervention of the Member of Parliament who it is not her duty, she had to go spend her own resources to provide some relief items for these people and yet we have NADMO. Budgetary allocations have been made to NADMO, they are supposed to have some of those relief items in their warehouse to respond to emergencies of this nature.
“Is this how we respond to emergencies in any other part of the country and they are now moving to the site? What is happening in Agavedzi and other coastal areas in Ketu South is really sad and I think that the Member of Parliament made an important point that no excuse is good enough for the people. These are Ghanaians and they pay taxes, they deserve to be treated equally like anybody else, they are in this condition for over a week now and NADMO is now going to respond. What is the essence of disaster management if not to respond to emergency situations like this. I think that it is a very sad situation and government must pay attention to the people of Ketu South in regards to this. And I want to admonish the government that, let us not get to the point where another tidal wave will come and then we now even expect NADMO to come, continue with the sea defense project that the NDC started in 2016, when you complete the project then you prevent the recurrence of this particular problem”.
He further charged that “the people are even complaining that instead of government paying attention to the sea defense project, government is rather paying attention to the relocation plan. Now you are building a relocation site, meanwhile there is an emergency so the exigencies of the moment demands that you solve the problem at hand. So at least complete the sea defense project and if you think in the future tidal waves will still disturb the people then you work on the relocation site but how do you work on the relocation site when tidal wave is currently affecting the people.
“Now we have people in the middle of a problem, over 700 people, imagine no homes, no food to eat but for the intervention of the Member of Parliament, for a week many of them, there are children among them, there are pregnant women among them, there are the aged among them so these people need some immediate intervention and that is why government is supposed to respond to it as an emergency, not the lackadaisical attitude that government so far has shown to the people of Agavedzi and the other areas in Ketu South. This should be a wake up call, there are other coastal areas in this country that tidal waves continuously disturb the people”.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana