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Uncaring Akufo-Addo Abandons 4000 Volta Tidal Wave Victims For Holidays Abroad

It is beginning to show that the pressure on President Nana Akufo-Addo, is getting to him, and he could hardly stay in the country to an extent of visiting some 4000 Ghanaians displaced by tidal waves as a result of climate change.

In about two weeks, the President, has been in and out of the country a number of times with the later report he left Accra yesterday, leading a Ghanaian delegation to attend, at the invitation of the Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay.

But the President is not expected back in Ghana until Saturday, November 20, because he has decided to take a week’s holiday, to an unknown destination.

The President, had cut short his regional tours to attend UN summit, and many had thought that he would have continued and even visit communities in the Volta Region which few days ago, were hit by tidal waves with thousands of residents in Keta, Aflao, Abutiakope, Kedzikope and others, displaced.

Ironically, President Akufo-Addo, last week was in Glasgow discussing Climate Change. But back home, he doesn’t appear to have seen home, businesses, schools and others, including human and animals submerged in seawater.

“We had tidal waves Sunday at dawn,” George Ayisi, spokesman for Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), told AFP on Wednesday.

“In Keta district, we have 1,557 individuals displaced and 239 houses affected. In Anloga district, we have 1,394 displaced and 134 houses affected, and in Ketu South we have 1,027 displaced and 149 houses affected.”

It is unclear, if he is avoiding the Aflao because of his troubles with Togbui Fiti, whom he had disrespected for demanding the completion of the Community Day School project there.

In less than two weeks, President Akufo-Addo, has been to Glasgow – Scotland for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), then on Monday, November 8, 2021, he arrived in Praia, capital of Cape Verde, for the inauguration of the island nation’s President-elect, Jose Maria Neves.

He is currently on his way to Paris.

In October, he was in in Belgrade, Serbia to attend the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The Paris event is the 75th anniversary ceremony of the founding of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is being held at its headquarters in Paris, France, the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin has said.

The United Nations Charter, which came into effect on 16th November 1945, provided for the creation of a specialized agency in the fields of education and culture, and the President will, on Friday, 12th November, deliver a statement, at the height of the commemoration, on the impact UNESCO has had in Ghana, and what Ghana expects from UNESCO in the coming years.

President Akufo-Addo ,will from Saturday, November 13, to Saturday, November 20, take a much-deserved, long overdue seven-day leave of absence, during which he has accepted an invitation to preside over the panel that will adjudicate a debate in the French Parliament on “The Trial of Progress”, on Friday, November 19.

Whilst away, the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, will act in his stead.

The event is being held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin said at a press conference on yesterday that “The United Nations Charter, which came into effect on 16th November 1945, provided for the creation of a specialized agency in the fields of education and culture, and the President will, on Friday, 12th November, deliver a statement, at the height of the commemoration, on the impact UNESCO has had in Ghana, and what Ghana expects from UNESCO in the coming years.

“President Akufo-Addo will from Saturday, 13th November, to Saturday, 20th November, take a much-deserved, long overdue seven-day leave of absence, during which he has accepted an invitation to preside over the panel that will adjudicate a debate in the French Parliament on “The Trial of Progress”, on Friday, 19th November.

“The President is expected back in Ghana on Saturday, 20th November, and, whilst away, the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, will act in his stead.”

It is unclear, who and who are on the holiday trip with the President.

Almost 4,000 people on Ghana’s coast were still displaced on Wednesday after a weekend tidal surge swept through more than 500 houses in the Volta region.

Sea-level rise is a growing worry in West Africa, and in Ghana, many have already been forced to abandon homes and livelihoods.

According to George Ayisi, NADMO spokesperson, some houses were completely destroyed and at least one school and a cemetery were also affected.

“This is the third tidal wave this year, but it’s the heaviest… it’s getting worrying, look at the numbers, it affected a lot of people,” said Ayisi.

For him, “sea levels are rising so it’s definitely linked to climate change.”

Ghana has a shoreline stretching some 550 kilometres (340 miles) with a quarter of the country’s population living by the sea.

The Municipal Chief Executive of Keta, Emmanuel Gemegah, told AFP that assistance for those displaced was ongoing.

“The government has provided things like food, clothes, soap and mosquito nets,” he said.

Ghana has tried to mitigate the impact of sea level rise with the construction of a “sea defence project” — boulders that are piled on top of each other in the sea.

The first phase of the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project, covering 4.3 kilometres of Ghana’s southern coast, was completed in 2019.

Ghana’s Minister for Works and Housing Francis Asenso Boakye told reporters on Monday that the government will “soon commence works” on the second phase to cover a minimum of eight kilometres.

“I think it’s what can be done now,” said Gemegah.

Sunday’s tidal waves are “linked to climate change,” he said. “We have never experienced this in this magnitude in many years.”

Vulnerable people such as children and elderly residents who were affected by the latest wave are for now staying in schools, community centres and churches in safer areas, said Gemegah, but others are already starting to return to the coast.

“This morning I saw fishermen repairing their nets,” said Gemegah, “so I think they are preparing to get back into business as water levels have come down.”

Ahead of the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the United Nations said that more than 100 million extremely poor people in Africa are threatened by accelerating climate change.

Meanwhile, some Members of Parliament have visited the affected areas to commiserate with the Chiefs and people.

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