Mr. Speaker, I would want to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Colleague and to also offer my condolences to the victims.
Mr. Speaker, the Statement, though very short, brings once again to the fore the problems we are facing in the Western Region at this time of the year when the rains are beginning to do their rounds.
Mr. Speaker, we have always been
complaining, those of us from the Western Region, that because of the rainfall pattern we suffer enormously, especially when it comes to the issue of roads and the quick response by agencies like National Disaster Management Organization
I believe that what has happened at Asankran Breman could also happen in other areas of the Western Region at this time of the year. School buildings might not be able to withstand the rains. The roads are terrible; we may not have transport good enough to quickly respond to the issues as they come. We also have the problem of capacity of the NADMO personnel to deal with such disasters in our area. And I believe, every year, when this issue comes up and we speak about them, they also die with the passage of time; nobody really cares to come to the aid of the affected areas and the victims.
Mr. Speaker, I believe the Ministry
of Road Transport, Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Feeder Roads should all team up to bring some relief to the people of these affected areas.
In my own constituency, Mr. Speaker, there is not one good road to the cocoa growing areas though we have been crying for these roads all these years. I believe that when the rains come, we are going to have a very bad situation, perhaps not comparing it with the Asankran Breman but more than what we have because we are also in the forest zone.
So this Statement, as I said, is quite short but it also calls for a lot of action from the relevant agencies. They should actually sit down and map out some long- term relief programmes for the Western Region particularly. I will say it for my constituency in particular because the roads there are terrible. Without good roads you cannot get to the hospitals; without good roads you cannot get relief and without good roads, possibly you may not even have cocoa and foodstuffs evacuated in good time.
So Mr. Speaker, I associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Friend and also call on the relevant agencies to do well to come to the aid of the affected areas, the victims and the people of the Western Region.
Mr. J. K. Avedzi (NDC - Ketu
North): Mr. Speaker, I would like to associate myself with the Statement made by my hon. Friend. Mr. Speaker, the rains this time are not affecting only Western Region but the lower part of the Volta Region is also seriously affected.
In my constituency for instance, there are three main rivers that flow into the Keta Lagoon. The flooding of these three rivers has caused a lot of damage to the people of Ketu North. Mr. Speaker, just yesterday, when I had a call and I went to
the constituency, I realized that there were so many roads in the constituency which were completely cut off. For instance, the road leading from Tadzewu to Dzodze is completely cut off by the rain. The road leading from Afife to villages like Tinu, Kporkuve, Ohawu are completely cut off.
Two days ago, the road between Afife and Avelavi which is part of the main Aflao-Accra road was completely cut off. Vehicles could not use the road. Vehicles coming from Aflao had to use the Keta Sea Defence road through Keta to Dabala Junction.
Now, apart from the road being cut off, flooding is also causing a lot of damage to the Afife Irrigation Farm. Currently, there is planting going on and all the farmers have done their first planting but the farm is completely submerged in water. If this water is not lifted within the next two or three days, it means that the planting that the farmers have done would go to waste; and that is going to affect the yield for the year. So the rains that are falling these days are actually affecting not only the Western Region but the Volta Region as well. And that is why I associate myself with the Statement.
I wish to call on the authorities involved -- the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, NADMO, International Development Agency (IDA) -- to come to the aid of the Afife Irrigation Farm so that they can have a good yield for the year. If that is not done, it is going to affect rice production for the people of the area and, definitely, that will affect the economy of Ghana; because we all know that Afife is the number one rice producing centre in Ghana and if we do not get rice from Afife this year, it will have effect on rice consumption.
Mr. Speaker, I think the Statement
is very short but it needs action. The authorities must move quickly and resolve the issue and then plan for future