Heavy rains in the Central Region have caused havoc, claiming one life, submerging communities, including the Ankaful Camp Prison, and cutting off the bridge linking Cape Coast an Twifo Praso at Jukwa.
The rains started from last Friday night to Saturday dawn.
More than 100 houses in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem municipality were submerged after some rivers overflowed their banks.
At Ankaful, a prison officer, Senior Chief Officer Lutterodt, drowned when flood waters swept through the Camp Prison.
Properties worth thousands of Ghana cedis were also destroyed at the prison, while about 70 prison officers and their families were displaced.
Road infrastructure damaged
At Jukwa, a greater portion of the bridge linking Cape Coast and Twifo Praso was washed away last Saturday.
The road was split into two when a section completely caved in, rendering the route inaccessible for motorists.
The Elmina-Takoradi highway was also flooded, just like some roads at Dompoase in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) municipality.
Buildings collapsed in some communities, including Essiam, Simiw, Abee, Effutu, Dompoase, Brase and Ntranoa.
Drivers were advised to drive cautiously in order to avoid any disaster.
Prisons Service assurance
The Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Isaac Egyir, visited the Ankaful Camp Prison to ascertain the extent of damage.
He gave an assurance that the service would take the appropriate action to support the affected officers.
The Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh; the Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, and other officials also toured affected communities to ascertain the extent of damage and pledged to take prompt actions to alleviate the plight of the affected people.
As an immediate intervention, NADMO presented relief items to the Prisons Service at Ankaful.
Nana Agyemang-Prempeh said he was happy about the Roads Ministry’s response to the disaster to ensure that affected roads were repaired without delay.
The NADMO Director-General said more rains were expected in the country and urged the people to take preventive measures.
Mrs Assan thanked NADMO and the Roads Ministry for the prompt response.
Yesterday, rehabilitation works began on the Twifo Praso highway and they were expected to be completed in the night.
Hundreds of commuters and residents were stranded on both sides of the Cape Coast-Praso road last Saturday
During a visit to the area, the Daily Graphic observed that security men had roped off the affected section of the road to keep residents and commuters away.
In a move to protect lives, the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) advised motorists to use alternative routes while work went on to fix the problem.
“Motorists travelling between Cape Coast and Twifo Praso are, therefore, advised to use the Cape Coast–Yamoransa–Assin Fosu–Twifo Praso road as the authority mobilises to solve the problem as soon as possible. We apologise sincerely for any inconvenience caused,” a statement from the GHA said.
Commuters traveling from Cape Coast to Praso transited through Assin Fosu, raising the transportation fare from GH¢22 to GH¢50.
“We are travelling to attend a funeral and came to meet this half road. We’ve been told to go to another town, but I’ve heard it’s also flooded. We are returning to Accra, since it does not appear that the situation can be salvaged shortly,” a traveller, Philip Ehun, said.
A taxi driver, Jonas Ahinakwa, said: “I picked a woman from Domeabra to the Abura Market, but we were unable to continue our journey. This means that I will not be able to make sales today.
I beg the authorities to intervene and save the situation, so that some of us don’t lose our source of income.”
Apart from the damage done to the Cape Coast-Twifo Praso road, parts of the access road to Akobim in the Mfantseman municipality were also washed away after hours of rain last Wednesday.
That was when the Kora River overflowed its banks and washed away large portions of the road.
Ankobra and Himan hit
In a related development, Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu reports from Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region that, many residents have been displaced at Ankobra and Himan in the Prestea Huni-Valley municipality as a result of flooding.
About 100 households are said to have been affected.
The Ankobra River overflowed its banks and swept through the communities.
The Paramount Chief of the Prestea Traditional Area, Nana Ntaboah Prah IV, appealed for support for the victims after personally presenting some relief items to the affected people.