Ghana: Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Floods in Upper East Region DREF Operation n° MDRGH015 / PGH031

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since early August 2018, communities in Northern and Upper East regions of Ghana have been affected by heavy and continuous seasonal rainfalls, which was later exacerbated by the annual opening of the Bagre dam gates. Indeed, the Bagre Dam, located in Burkina Faso, caused unprecedented flooding in many local communities, destroying lives and properties. The Bagre Dam spilled on the 31st of August 2018, when the dam reached its maximum spillage level at 235m on that day. However, by the 10th of September, the dam was still spilling, and water level remained at the maximum level of 235m.

The continued rise in water levels resulted in flooding which has affected farmlands, posing threat to lives and properties as the spilled water found its way into the Black and White Volta Rivers, which overflowed into the three regions of the north and the Eastern Region. According to an assessment report by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), about 11,959.6 Hectares of farmland have been affected by the flooding, posing a food insecurity risk to the affected communities.

The country continues to receive more rains, which contributes to worsening the situation. Several families living close to the banks of the Black and White Volta Rivers, have relocated to other communities for shelter and safety. An initial assessment report produced by NADMO highlights the devastating impact of the floods. Some 23 communities in 2 districts (13 communities in Bakwu West District and 11 communities in Talensi Districts) with a total of 3,556 households (21,336) people have been affected in the Upper East region, whilst in the Northern region 202 communities in 9 districts thus 10,567 people have been affected, leading to a total of 31,903 people (5,317 households) affected in both regions.

Several houses and farm crops have been destroyed. Furthermore, the Northern region has reported the deaths of 9 people and 12 people injured, whilst the Upper East region reported 6 people dead and 1 missing. In addition, about 487 houses have been completely destroyed, whilst about 7,757 houses have been partially destroyed by the floods. A joint assessment team made of the Red Cross, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Inter-Agency Working Group for Emergencies of which the Ghana Red Cross Society is also a member are currently in the field conducting a detailed assessment of the situation.

In view of the above, Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) is requesting for DREF funding amounting to CHF 174,724 to meet the urgent needs of the affected communities focusing on shelter, NFI, WASH and health.

Summary of the current response

Overview of Host National Society

GRCS has over 60,000 volunteers, 50 staff, 10 regional offices across the country. The National Society (NS) currently has 55 trained and established District Disaster Response Teams (DDRTs) members, plus 30 National Disaster Response Team (NDRT) members, eight (8) Regional Emergency Response Teams (RERT) consisting of 135 members, 45 Community Disaster Preparedness and Response Teams (CDPRT) consisting 900 members, 53 National Society staff, and five Partner National Society staff. This demonstrates a relatively strong human resource capacity, which with basic orientation could result in effective and efficient implementation of the DREF plan.

With regards to the current disaster situation, GRCS has been actively working with NADMO to conduct assessments in the affected communities so as to determine the impact of the floods. The GRCS has engaged 50 volunteers who are conducting health and hygiene promotion and assisting with data collection during the assessments. With support from the Swiss RC, the GRCS has provided 10 family tents to assists 10 families in Kologu and Kolugotor communities in Upper East region who have been displaced by the floods. However, due to lack of prepositioned materials, the NS has not been able to give additional support to the affected communities.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), through its WASH delegate based in Ghana and with technical support from the Abuja Country Cluster Support Team (CCST), continues to work closely with the National Society by supporting its staff and volunteers in all activities of the Red Cross. It equally ensures that management and operational issues are directed and implemented in accordance to the Principles and core values of the Red Cross Movement to reach the needs of the most vulnerable. Consultative and Movement coordination meetings are established in country between the NS, IFRC and Swiss Red Cross Society, the only PNS presence in Ghana. As mentioned above, the Swiss RC is supporting the NS in conducting the ongoing assessments and has also provided for 10 tents to be distributed to 10 displaced households. The NS also receives support from technical departments of the NS and IFRC at CCST, Africa Region and Geneva levels.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

The major stakeholders in Ghana are National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), which is responsible for coordination at all levels, Ghana Health Service, District Assemblies, traditional leadership, UN agencies and other civil society actors.

Unable to cope with the increasing needs resulting from the continuous rains and later the dam spillage, NADMO is appealing on corporate bodies and non-governmental organizations to complement government’s efforts to save lives.

The government, through NADMO, was only able to support some limited number of people with food and non-food items from their only remaining contingency stock and it will take a while before it is replenished. Although there has been a public appeal from NADMO, no comprehensive assessment was conducted by any agency so far, therefore making it difficult to have an appreciation of the magnitude and impact of the floods.