The impoverished National Disaster Management Organization has launched a special operation on Thursday, August 3, 2017 to intensify public education and to proactively manage flood situations in the three regions up north as its specter looms large following the imminent spillage of the Bagre Dam.
The operation has been dubbed “Thunderboat 2017” and would last for a three-month period.
The operation means the disaster management body will temporally move its headquarters from Accra to the Northern region as part of precautionary measures to save lives and properties that may be affected by the impending spillage of water from the Bagre and torrential rain falls as the season sets in.
It was announced during a press briefing in Tamale at the Regional Coordinating Council by the Director General of the Organization, Mr. Eric Nana Agyemang Prempeh who and other staff have been in the region distributing relief items to victims of last week’s flood disaster that killed three, uprooted many and devastated properties.
The operation is to avert a repetition of the disaster where many are still struggling to rebuild and districts disconnected from the regional capital.
Prempeh announced that a search and rescue team from the national capital will next week join them with their tools for the special operation.
The team would be camped at Walewale, the West Mamprusi district capital. They are expected to rapidly respond to flood situations that may be caused by rainfalls and or spillage of the Dam in the neighboring country.
The team will be dispatched across the regions and stationed at special joints to purposely offer rescue assistance to residents anytime there is a disaster.
Emergency numbers will always be provided for residents at locations where visibility of the rescue and search team may be minimal.
The operation will involve security agencies including personnel from the 6 Battalion and the Fire Service, the ambulance service, regional coordinating council and various district assemblies.
“The president of the country has asked us as disaster management organization to focus more on preventive measure than reactive. You all know very well that the three northern regions (sic) always in such periods receive a lot of floods, different type of floods as a result of the spillage from the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso; very soon, it will be coming again”
“If you look at what is happening, if the Bagre dam is also going to be spilled and the water is going to add to what we are having, it is not going to be a small thing, therefore we are declaring the three northern regions as a very emergency disaster zone with a coded name of thunderboat 2017”, Prempeh announced.
Bagre Dam is a multipurpose dam on the White Volta located near Bagre Village in Burkina Faso. It spillage has claimed lives, flooded farmlands and destroyed properties at communities on the north of the country.
Communities in the West Mamprusi, Savelugu Nanton, Tolon, Kumbungu, North, Central and West Gonja districts are among the worst hit by the perennial problem.