World Food Programme supports Upper East flood victims

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday presented assorted food items to flood-affected victims in the Upper East Region.

The items comprising 220 metric tonnes of food commodities included 3,624 bags of Maize, 518 bags of Beans, 593 cartons of vegetable oil and 86 bags of iodated salt was to cover the basic nutritional needs of the victims.

Each beneficiary would receive 12.6kgs of maize, 1.8kgs of beans, 0.75kgs of vegetable oil and 0.15kgs of iodized salt.

It would be recalled that the opening of the Bagre and the Kompienga Dams in Burkina Faso in August this year, coupled with heavy rains in September caused flash floods in most parts of the Upper East Region affecting 14,380 people and claiming one life.

The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has been at the forefront of coordinating rescue operations and relief responds to the floods victims in the region.

Presenting the items at a mini durbar at Yikene, one of the affected communities in the Bolgatanga Municipality, Head of the WFP Sub-Office, Mr Aboubacar Koisha, said the organisation was pleased to assist the flood- affected victims in the region as part of its strategic objective to save and protect lives in emergencies including disasters such as floods.

He said due to the overwhelming need for relief assistance, a request for food was submitted to the WFP by the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).

In a swift response to the request, he said a joint assessment mission was conducted by the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), the RCC, Security Agencies, NADMO and some UN agencies in the region to ascertain the magnitude of effect of the flood and to mobilize appropriate additional support for NADMO.

He added that the food commodities would provide the energy and nutritious needs of the victims, indicating that NADMO would be responsible for the distribution, coordination, monitoring and reporting of the food distribution whilst keeping proper accounts of all commodities received at the final distribution points.

According to him, besides the Upper East Region, some 15,200 flood-affected victims in the Upper West and Northern Regions would also receive assistance bringing the total number of beneficiaries across all the three northern regions to 30,000.

Mr Koisha, who is the representative of the WFP in the Northern sector, expressed optimism that the food would contribute immensely to reduce any food insecurity that had emerged as a result of the floods while they rebuild their lives.

Mr Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, who received the items on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed appreciation to the WFP, assuring the people of government’s consciousness of the harm and devastating effects of the floods.

He said in spite of the fact that many farms were destroyed as a result of the floods, there was likely to be good harvest this year.

Mr Woyongo therefore appealed to farmers to store excess food rather than taking them across the borders for sale as has been the case in previous years adding, the WFP had pledged to buy most of the food items that would be produced in the region.

According to the Minister, the only solution to the perennial flooding in the Region was the construction of a dam at Pwalugu to harvest access water saying, “The dam would be used for hydro electricity generation and as well irrigate over 100,000 hectares of land. This would commence in 2014 and completed in 2019”.

The Regional Coordinator of NADMO, Mr Patrick Akake, in an interview with the GNA, said Nyariga, a community near Bolgatanga, was the most hit area, adding that close to 200 houses had been destroyed at the time of his visit.

He said most crop lands and farms located too close to the White Volta Basin in the Talensi District were severely destroyed.

Meanwhile, the Region has received a total of 500 relief boxes, 200 bags of maize, 100 bags of beans, 100 boxes of match sticks, 50 boxes of mosquito coils, 100 cartons of soap, 400 basins and 400 buckets as part the third release and distribution of the presidential package.

Source: GNA

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