The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says there is an urgent need for alternative housing for flood victims in the Lower Volta Basin.
According to him, the ongoing displacement of people in the Lower Volta Basin has upended life in the area and as such urgent attention and support is needed to restore a semblance of normality in the area.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, he said the number of displaced people has significantly increased in the past weeks and the makeshift shelters are not conducive for human settlement.
“We need to find alternative housing so that we can relocate the displaced people. The numbers have gone up a bit. I think North Tongu is hitting 13,000 now in terms of the displaced people according to the latest NADMO data, so these are huge numbers,” he said. Rising to the occasion, chiefs in the North Tongu area have donated large parcels of land for the resettlement of displaced people in the community.
“They say anybody who is willing to come and put up housing here does not have to pay for the land, not even knocking fee, you don’t have to present drinks, nothing, just come and take over the land and start,” Okudzeto Ablakwa said.
Meanwhile, some philanthropists have already made commitments to the affected communities to helping them rebuild. “I must commend the First Sky group, they’re working very fast and then I must also commend Pastor Amoateng who says his church will also take up a housing unit.
“Mr. Ibrahim Mahama has also promised that he will also take up a few housing units and he has already sent his engineers here to assess the land.
“This morning he sent bulldozers here to start preparing the land for houses to be constructed and we want to thank him very much, we are eternally in his debt,” the MP revealed. However, Okudzeto Ablakwa says the resettlement of displaced people cannot be left to philanthropists.
He said there is the urgent need for government to take up a central role in the resettlement of people and to take up the cost and direction of the project.
“I must also add that the relocating discussion must go beyond a few philanthropists because the numbers are huge and government will have to really put together an allocation for this. “And that is why when the Finance Minister came yesterday whilst commending him for his visit I emphasized two points that in the 2024 budget he will be presenting to parliament in a few days I want to see two things; one, resettlement allocation in the budget and two compensation allocation in the budget because it is urgent,” he said.
Source: Cornerlis Kweku Affre