Ghana: Emergency Plan of Action Operation Update Dam Spillage in Upper East Region DREF Operation n° MDRGH015 / PGH031

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

In early August 2018, communities in Northern and Upper East regions of Ghana were affected by heavy and continuous seasonal rainfall, which was exacerbated by the annual opening of the Bagre dam. The Bagre Dam, located in Burkina Emergency Plan of Action Operation Update Ghana: Dam Spillage in Upper East Region Page | 2 Faso, caused unprecedented flooding in many local communities resulting into loss of lives and properties. The Bagre Dam spilled on the 31st of August 2018, when the dam reached its maximum level 235m. However, by the 10th of September, the dam was still spilling, the water level remained at the maximum level of 235m. The continued rise in water levels resulted in flooding which affected farmlands, and posed 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 farm land had been affected by the flooding, posing food insecurity risk to the affected communities.

An initial assessment report produced by NADMO highlighted 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) were affected in the Upper East region, whilst in the Northern region 202 communities in 9 districts, thus 10,567 people, were also affected leading to a total of 31,903 people (5,317 households) affected in both regions.

Several houses and farm crops were destroyed. Furthermore, the Northern region had 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 were completely destroyed, whilst about 7,757 houses were partially destroyed by the floods In view of the above, Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) requested 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 current response

Overview of Host National Society

GRCS has over 60,000 volunteers, 50 staff, and 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 is resulting in effective and efficient implementation of the DREF plan.

With regards to the disaster situation, GRCS has actively worked with NADMO to conduct assessments in the affected communities so as to determine the impact of the floods. The GRCS engaged 100 volunteers who conducted health and hygiene promotion and assisting with data collection during the assessments. With support from the Swiss RC who are the only PNS with in-country presence, the GRCS provided 20 family tents to assist 20 families in Kologu Tor, Kolugo Zuo and Sandema communities in Upper East region who were displaced by the floods. However, due to lack of prepositioned materials, the NS had not been able to give additional support to the affected communities.

With support of the DREF the NS have implemented the following activities:

• Trained 100 volunteers from 23 communities on how to conduct community social mobilisation and promotion of health and hygiene activities and community-based disease surveillance • Distributed non-food relief items to 500 households • Conducted health and hygiene promotion activities in 23 communities through community meetings, radio slots and house to house education by trained volunteers

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 present in Ghana. As mentioned above, the Swiss RC supported the NS in conducting the needs assessments and had also provided 20 tents for 20 displaced households. The NS also received support from technical departments of the 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 appealed to corporate bodies and non-governmental organizations and complemented government’s efforts to save lives. The government, through NADMO, only supported some limited number of people with food and non-food items from their only remaining contingency stock which will take a while before to be replenished. Although was public appeal from NADMO, no comprehensive assessment was conducted by any agency after the floods, thereby made it difficult to have an appreciation of the magnitude and impact of the floods.