Upper West Region needs massive intervention to recover from Thursday’s flash floods – Minister

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Upper West Regional Minister Dr Hafiz Bin Salih has noted that for the region to recover from last Thursday’s flash floods that cut off six districts from the regional capital, it needs massive intervention.

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Although the extent of the disaster is yet to be known after 24 hours of its occurrence, he assured the people that government will do everything within its power to fix the roads that have been cut off due to the torrential rain. 

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Hundreds of commuters and vehicles got stranded as a result of the heavy downpour.

Upper West Region needs massive intervention to recover from Thursday’s flash floods - Minister

Dr Hafiz Bin Salih made these statements after he toured the areas affected by the flash floods.

Hundreds of vehicles snaked at Goriyiri, the majority being heavy trucks heading to Burkina Faso due to Thursday’s flash floods in the region that affected six districts and municipalities.

Upper West Region needs massive intervention to recover from Thursday’s flash floods - Minister

However, the ripple effect of the torrential rain that lasted for over 12 hours is shared by all 11 municipal and districts in the region.

“I am devastated and heartbroken. What has happened has taken the Upper West region backwards; it will need massive intervention for us to get back to where we were three or four days ago,” he stated.

The region has been sharply divided into equal halves, with bridges in some major highways completely washed away by the flash floods.

Upper West Region needs massive intervention to recover from Thursday’s flash floods - Minister

Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, used a two-prong style to assess the situation. First, by joining the helicopter together with some REGSEC members to have an aerial view and later driving to some of the areas to see the situation for himself.

Videos inside the helicopter showed broken bridges, a sea of farms and economic trees submerged in water, and Small Rivers near some communities drastically widened.

Upper West Region needs massive intervention to recover from Thursday’s flash floods - Minister

“What has happened is going to affect the economy and social life of the people; we all need to brace ourselves for the difficulties we are in now. A lot of people will be inconvenienced especially a lot of us who trek often.

“The police need to up their game vehicle into the region will have to be redirected to pass alternative routes. If possible, long vehicles heading to Burkina Faso should be advised to use the Upper East region.”

He stated that government is going to approach the issue head-on and with all the seriousness It deserves. There was, however, no time frame given by the regional minister.

The Kululu River at Goriyiri in the Nadowli-Kaleo District broke its banks, cutting off the district into two halves and also delinking the Lawra, Nandom and Jirapa municipalities from the regional capital.

Upper West Region needs massive intervention to recover from Thursday’s flash floods - Minister

Bearing the brunt already is the Nadowli Kaleo District Chief Executive, Katherine Lankono, who is cut off from the district capital. Her story appears like biblical Moses who saw Canaan but could not reach there.  

Her office is some three kilometres away from the three broken culverts. So for her to assess her office now, she needs to make a detour of over 50 kilometres.

Though not of the same magnitude, the Sissala East Municipality, which is arguable the leading producer of maize according to the District Chief Executive, Karimu Nanyuo, also has its share of the violent flash floods.

The people cannot assess their farms, let alone move out of the municipality, the MCE lamented.

Upper West Region needs massive intervention to recover from Thursday’s flash floods - Minister

Personnel of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), led by the regional director, Mustapha Ahmed, are on hand to assess the situation and offer their support.

They are, however, unable because they can’t have access to the affected areas as they are still inundated by water from the violent flash floods.

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