Several parts of the Kassena-Nankana Municipality in the Upper East region were thrown into darkness last night and hundreds of senior high school students were displaced after a rainstorm ravaged the area for more than two hours.
One of the affected schools, Awe Senior High School (AWESCO), had the roofs of two of its dormitory blocks ripped off. Over 200 final-year students taking part in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) at that school stayed Thursday night in an assembly hall and in some structures partly spared by the storm.
“We have arranged to let the affected students pair with friends. Some of them will move to the assembly hall. The mattresses are all soaked with rainwater after the rainstorm. Because the first-year students are not around, we have some extra mattresses for them to manage. The storm also brought down some of our electrical cables,” a teacher at the school told Starr News on the telephone as authorities at the school were busy evacuating students to safety.
A resident of Navrongo, capital of the municipality, who gave her name only as Nancy, said: “The storm has destroyed some electricity poles. There is no light in some areas like Pungu. Power poles are broken.”
So strong was the punch from the storm, said to have lasted from about 5:00pm to around 7:30pm, that some panicky families decided not to go out of their rooms anymore (even after the storm had quieted down) until the following morning.
“We have remained indoors after the storm,” said Lamisi, a health worker who resides around the Navrongo War Memorial Hospital. “The lights were completely off for some time here. But it’s back as I speak to you. The storm was strong. After that, it rained. It’s only tomorrow morning we may see the extent of damage in the areas that have been affected,” she added.
Officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Assembly are expected to tour affected areas Friday (today).
NADMO had in times past advised the public to always ensure their roofs are reinforced before the rains set in. Some of those who ignored that recommendation regretted their inaction as rainstorm devastated over 2,000 houses, affected 44 schools and displaced 11,672 persons from their homes in 2016.
In the middle of 2017, a rainstorm left 108 structures in ruins and about 500 people, including children and elderly people, lost their homes in the Bongo District alone.
“Climate Change has finally set in. We should be all be alert that anything can happen. There has been nothing like the culture of maintenance. In the olden days, when the rains were about setting in, people would move out to do maintenance.
“We don’t maintain our houses. We have sung the song several times. Nobody listens to us. But when disaster sets in, they come to us. It is better we begin to do something about our buildings before we get into the raining season,” stressed a NADMO Coordinator in the region, Alhaji Rafiu Tahiru.