UN sends disaster assessment team to Ghana to respond to flooding

UN sends disaster assessment team to Ghana to respond to flooding

The United Nations has deployed a six-member disaster assessment and coordination (UNDAC) team to north-eastern Ghana, which has been hit hardest by the floods that have followed a week of torrential rains across West Africa late last month.

Thousands of homes in Ghana’s Upper East Region were destroyed after the rains struck, several major bridges have collapsed and large areas of cropland have been destroyed, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

More than 260,000 Ghanaians have been affected, according to Government figures, and the UNDAC team is expected to meet the country’s own disaster officials today to coordinate the response.

Already the Government and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have begun distributing aid, including food, within the Upper East Region, and helping people displaced by the floods. A particular concern is the potential for an outbreak of waterborne diseases.

Torrential rains struck at least 11 countries in West Africa in the last week of August, OCHA reported, and in total over 500,000 people have been affected. The other countries involved are Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.