The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on government to include the health minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, on the inter-ministerial committee set up to address flooding and other related issues, following the Akosombo dam spillage.
According to the association, although it welcomes the formation of an inter-ministerial committee to address the flooding, the inclusion of the health minister is equally critical to the deliberations of the committee.
“We have noted the exclusion of the Minister of Health from this Committee even though the Ministry of Health will play a central role in relief efforts. The provision of emergency healthcare and support, prevention of possible outbreaks of water-borne diseases, risk communication and ensuring continuity of essential health services are fundamental to a response of this nature. We therefore call on the government to immediately include the Minster of Health as a matter of urgency.”Ghana Medical Association
Contained in a statement dated October 16, 2023, signed by President of GMA, Dr Frank Serebuor, the GMA expressed deep concerns over the devastating flooding of many communities along the Volta River as a result of the spillage from the Akosombo dam.
It noted that this has led to displacements of many communities, destruction of properties, loss of livelihoods and disruption of healthcare and other critical services.
“The National executive council of the GMA expresses its deep sympathy and commiserates with the victims of this unfortunate incident. We are grateful to the medical doctors and other health workers rendering relief services to the people affected by this disaster.”Ghana Medical Association
Furthermore, the association, on its part, highlighted that it is mobilizing members, logistics and other resources to support relief efforts in the affected communities and will continue to monitor the situation.
To this end, it appealed to corporate Ghana, Ghanaians and other stakeholders to support ongoing efforts to rescue and resettle the many people displaced by the tragic event.
“The GMA calls for better coordination between the Volta River Authority (VRA), National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and other relevant government agencies to prevent such disasters in the future.”Ghana Medical Association
UTAG proposes measures to avert perennial flooding
Meanwhile, the University of Ghana branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has proposed some approaches in dealing with perennial flooding in the country.
The association revealed that it is concerned about the perennial floods in the national capital, Accra, and other major cities including Kumasi, Tamale, Cape Coast, Takoradi and communities along the White Volta basin.
UTAG equally lamented that it has seen the disturbing displacement of individuals and communities along the peripheries and catchment areas of the Akosombo Dam because of the spillage of the dam.
Communities along the White Volta, especially in the Northern part of Ghana, it underscored, are displaced annually due to the spillage of the Bagre dam in Burkina Faso.
This, it noted, seriously impacts the shelter, health, livelihoods and general welfare of the people and the communities.
“We entreat and call on NADMO and the various district assemblies along the catchment areas and other agencies and development partners to assist these displaced Ghanaians urgently. A multidisciplinary approach to dealing with these perennial floods is recommended in the medium to long term.”UTAG
Furthermore, UTAG suggested that government must expedite the construction of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam and others along the White Volta for irrigation and other uses.
In this regard, the association highlighted that it is ready to “partner with city authorities and government to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with these perennial floods, among others, permanently”.