Torrential rains started on 3 June, 2015 and continued till the next day impacting many parts of the Greater Accra region. The floods resulted in the displacement of community populations, loss of over 200 lives and loss of property and livelihoods.
In order to contribute to the relief efforts to relieve the affected populations, the Ghana Red Cross Society as an auxiliary to the government in the humanitarian sector was alerted by National Disaster Management Organization on 3 June 2015 following activation of the national disaster emergency response. GRCS activated 100 of its community based rescue and first aid team members to support immediate assistance on 4 June, 2015. In addition, 60 of them are engaged in rapid assessment to determine the following: lives lost, property status, disaggregated data of those affected as well as immediate needs.
The most affected districts based on feedback and reports from volunteers in the affected districts, municipality and official sources include the following: Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly, Accra Metropolitan, La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal, Labadi Municipal, Shai Osudoku, Kpone-Katamanso, Ningo-Prampram, Ada West and Ada East.
The Red Cross assessment figures indicated that up to 46,370 people were affected in some way in five localities (Nima, Aworshie, Alajo, Adabraka, Low McCarty hill). On the other hand, the Inter-Agency Working Group for Emergencies (IAWGE) assessment, of which the RC is a member, indicates that 9,255 people have been displaced by the floods.
The National Society further went on to conduct a rapid needs assessment on 7 June, 2015 in 5 communities namely Nima, Aworshie, Alajo, Adabraka, Low McCarty hill. The following is a summary of the findings:
- 187 houses have been partially or totally destroyed as a result of the disaster
- The transitional shelter solution of the affected after the disaster comprises of: 20% of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP are in collective centres while 40% are in urban self-settlement while the remaining ones are with host families.
- 20% of the displaced mentioned not having access to adequate sanitation facilities while only 40% received drinking water.
- 20% of the affected received both Psychosocial and NFI (mosquito nets, blankets, mats) from government, other agencies and through other various support mechanisms.
- 80% and 40% of the host community members respectively are concerned with “Potential disease outbreak” and “over exploitation and looting of host community infrastructures”.
- 60% of the affected expressed fears that their source of drinking water is not safe and adequate while 20% could not access the water sources.
- 80% of the affected area have their schools “learning and teaching “affected by the flood
- 40% of the affected population has not received any support up to date.
The forecast by the Meteorological services has also indicated that more heavy rainstorms and rains were expected in the coming days thereby creating fears that the situation will only deteriorate further.
Ghana Red Cross will provide support to persons affected by flooding through a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) and will set up 5 First Aid posts in the affected communities. This will provide continued support to the needs of people affected by floods as well as those affected during a fire /explosion at a petrol station during the rains killing 96 people and injuring several others.
This initial DREF will serve as a start-up operation while further assessments and details will inform on the decision and way forward based on the updated context. The operation will provide basic relief items for immediate support as well as software (social mobilization and hygiene/health promotion) and epidemic control activities to 5,000 internally displaced persons including children (targeting mainly on those in urban-self settlement and collective centres).
Coordination within the Movement
The International Federation through its representation in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, continues to work closely with the National Society by supporting its staff and volunteers in all activities of the Red Cross and ensuring that management and operational issues are directed and implemented with the principles and core values of the Red Cross movement to reach the needs of the most vulnerable.
At the inception of the disaster, Ghana Red Cross Society has established contact and shared information with the ICRC, Swiss Red Cross and Finish Red Cross.
Ghana Red Cross Society will ensure that the operation is aligned with the IFRC’s commitment to realize gender equality and diversity, by adapting beneficiary selection criteria that targets the most vulnerable, e.g. lactating women, pregnant women, female headed the elderly and people with disabilities. Other aspects considered will include programming that aims to promote prevention of sexual violence and gender-based violence and the protection of children.