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Cholera and typhoid cases increasing in communities affected by the flood – Public Health Practitioner

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A Public Health Practitioner, Abraham Norman Nortey, has revealed that water-borne diseases are increasing in the communities that have been affected by the flood that was caused by water spilled from the Akosombo Dam. He stated that although the people are not drinking the water, they are cooking and bathing with it hence the increasing cases of cholera and typhoid.

Speaking on the Sunrise show on 3FM on Monday, October 23, Mr Norman Nortey said “Our team has been involved in diligent monitoring and evaluation of the situation. Our reports on the grounds reveal a disturbing increase in the cases of water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. “Amazingly, the Ministry has responded to some of these issues and the government as a whole has also set up an inter-ministerial committee to be able to oversee these issues.”

He added, “There have been other NGOs, individuals, and personnel that have come to donate to these individuals but still the issue has to do with the fact that when this spillage occurred most of their latrines got submerged in this river and these individuals are bathing with this same water, they are cooking with this same water, they are not drinking the water though they are bathing and at the same time cooking with it and this has a lot of public health issue.”

Meanwhile, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has revealed that it has rescued about 12,000 persons from 13 October 2023 to date in the flood disaster in Mepe and other parts of the Volta Region that was caused by the spillage of water from the Akosombo Dam. GAF indicated that as of Sunday, October 22, the flood situation in Mepe, the community that was heavily affected by the spillage has been brought under considerable control.

GAF said this while dismissing reports claiming that military personnel deployed to Mepe for Humanitarian Relief Operations were withdrawn. This was after North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa indicated that the soldiers had been asked to leave the community.

“Who ‘above’ has given orders to the military detachment helping us cross flood waters to immediately withdraw when the water levels haven’t receded and when thousands of lives are at stake in camps across these waters?” “Who in government is behind this utter cruelty?” He tweeted. But in another tweet, Mr Ablakwa said “I just received a call indicating that the order has been reversed and that the soldiers have been directed to return with their boats and resume duty.

“Soon, we shall fish out those faceless, unpatriotic elements.”

Reacting to this development in a statement, the GAF stated categorically that “the information in circulation is inaccurate and that the personnel have not been given any ‘orders from above’ to withdraw from Mepe or any other community affected by the spillage, contrary to the social media posts.

“It must be emphasised that the Humanitarian Relief Operations (Operation Boafo), being
conducted by the Ghana Navy’s Riverine Command and the 48 Engineer Regiment of the Ghana Army is being executed in phases. As of 22 October 2023, the situation in Mepe has been brought under considerable control and therefore it became necessary to urgently redeploy some personnel and equipment to other distressed communities around Battor and its environs, which were in dire need of support.

“Following the deployment of additional personnel and equipment to these distressed communities, the operations being conducted have been varied to suit the evolving situation. It must be placed on record that for the purpose of this operation, GAF has established an Emergency Operations Centre which is coordinating all the GAF activities in a harmonised manner in conjunction with NADMO.

“Currently, personnel of the Naval Riverine Command and the Army’s 48 Engineer Regiment are still deployed and conducting the relief operations (Operation Boafo) in accordance with the exigencies of the situation, at Mepe, Battor, Sogakope, Adidome, Aveyime, New Bakpa, Big Ada, Ada Foah and the surrounding communities. These personnel are equipped with 10 Naval Boats and four (four) Engineer Assault Boats. From 13 October 2023 till date, GAF has rescued about 12,000 persons.”

By: Laud Nartey

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