About 200 residents of Atonsu S-Line in Kumasi have been displaced by floods that destroyed their homes, due to the diversion of a drain by a Chinese construction firm.
The victims said the blockage of the Susuan drainage by China Henan International Co-Operation (CHICO), which had been dredging and lining the stream, is responsible.
At least one person has been confirmed dead after he was swept by flood following Monday’s heavy rains. A nine-year-old girl also said to have been swept away by running water, is yet to be found.
About 40 houses, a chapel and mosque were inundated with water some up to waist level, at Atonsu S-Line.
Residents salvaging personal belongings
Many residents have been rendered homeless after their homes submerged, and children are unable to go to school.
“We have lost everything. Where to lay our heads is now an issue,” says a resident, Nana Opoku. He returned home after the rains to realise he had lost everything, including his certificates to the floods.
Amid huge losses, residents try to salvage what is left of their personal belongings from bedding to electronic gadgets.
CHISCO is undertaken lining of 2 kilometre Susuan Drainage
“The Chinese company diverted the course of the water to our backyard here. The current was so strong it broke the fence wall and water filled our homes,” says Nana Opoku.
The flood inaundated many homes
Many children affected by the floods remain at home.
Adwoa Konadu says her four children have been home since Monday. She says the construction company turned deaf ear to earlier warnings.
“We have not known peace ever since the Chinese [com[any] diverted the drains. They turned deaf ear to our earlier warnings. We returned from work on Monday to see our homes flooded. My kids cannot go to school because they have lost everything to the water,” she complained.
Residents are demanding compensation from the China Henan International Corporation (CHICO) which they blame for their predicament.
One of the residents demanding the payment of compensation, is Akwasi Joe. His eight-bedroom apartment got flooded, leaving 22 occupants homeless.
“Our clothes and everything are gone. Here we are, empty; we have to start life all over again. Government must intervene. We will appreciate any form of compensation.”
Akwanuasa Gyimah is MCE of Asokwa Municipal
Municipal Chief Executive for Asokwa, Akwanuasa Gyimah, shares the sentiments of the people against the construction firm.
“They (contractors) didn’t do a good job. We went there this morning and they’ve admitted they caused the whole problem so they have assured us that from today till Sunday, everything would be okay.”
Mr. Akwanuasa has since met with officials of China Henan Corporation and tabled compensation demand of victims.
“We discussed compensation package with them but it was inconclusive,” he said.
The construction firm has declined comment on the issue, insisting all questions be directed at the Urban Roads Department.
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