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Akosombo Dam spillage: Affected nursing mothers call for support

Many women and children continue to bear the brunt of the Akosombo and Kpong dam spillage in the North Tongu District of the Volta region.

Since the flood waters have displaced them, many nursing mothers have been dwelling in tents donated to them by NGOs and individuals.

Some pregnant women have also given birth amid the situation.

It’s been seven months since they moved to dwell in these tent houses in open spaces in the various affected communities of the three Tongu districts.

These women and children become more vulnerable as they battle with the harmattan weather conditions day and night. During the day, they look out for cold places to dwell with their babies and the situation becomes unbearable at night.

These mothers, primarily fishmongers and petty traders, have lost their livelihoods to the disaster. They are now left without any work.

Some teenage mothers depend on family and friends for survival. The current situation of the nursing mothers situation is unconducive in the Dorgome camp; one of the many tent camps in the North Tongu district. They are, therefore, calling for relocation and support.

Dorgome camp, one of the many tent camps in North Tongu district

According to them, they are forced to endure excessive heat in the tents at night and the situation is causing their children to fall sick frequently.

The camp leader, Abosa Sofoya, said, “From mid-morning to afternoon, you cannot enter the tents to take anything. It is very hot and you can’t even sleep inside unless you come outside to sleep under these trees. At night, we have to stay outside until 12 am to 1 am before we can sleep (that is when the weather gets cold); living here ( in the camp) is not easy for us, please we need your help”.

Selina Nodonu was a resident of Ayikope and now lives in the camp; she has an eight-month-old baby girl; she gave birth in the pick of the disaster and has since lived in the tent.

She complained bitterly about the warm weather and her child’s inability to sleep at night due to the heat; she asked for a better domicile. “We’ve been through a lot already; I’ll be happy if they give us a decent house because the tent is not friendly in this weather, and we keep asking ourselves if these tents are our home forever”.

Mavis Amigo and Gertrude Kemevor are teenage nursing mothers who’ve lost their homes to the flood and have started a new life in the camp for the past months.

Mavis worries about her child’s living conditions: “Our children are getting sick, and it’s not easy to take care of them; what to eat and wear has been a challenge”.

For Gertrude, she cannot afford to visit the health centre frequently.

“Truth be told, we’re suffering, we’re sleeping on the bare floor in the tent with the children, we don’t have money to always take the children to the hospital, we need your help,” Gertrude said.

However, they appealed to NGOs and individuals to aid with baby diapers, clothing, footwear and other essential baby items to alleviate their struggles.

They also called on the government to build decent housing units for them.

According to the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), in North Tongu alone, 1,540 homes were destroyed by the flood waters, rendering thousands homeless.

Out of the displaced people, only 600 have been provided with decent housing through the initiatives of Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Local authorities say rural-urban migration has increased in the area since last September 2023.

Benevolent persons who want to donate directly to these nursing mothers can contact Asaase Radio.

Reporting by Albert Kuzor in the Volta Region

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