Accra, Ghana — The Archdiocese of Accra is appealing for support for Ghanaians affected by floods in the southern part of the city after heavy rains caused spillage from the Weija dam.
Some people took shelter in St. Peter Catholic Church, but water even got into the building.
The dam, located in the Weija-Gbawe Municipality in the Greater Accra Region, serves as the source of potable water for more than half of the 5.4 million population of the national capital.
After the rains in early October cause the spillage, on Oct. 5 Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie appealed to societies and groups in the church to come to the aid of the people with food and clothing.
People "need our help," the archbishop said. "If individuals don't know how to send help, my office and Father Elvis Mensah are ready to help."
On Oct. 7, Mensah, pastor of St. Peter Church, said: "The water level remains high even though we were told that the gates of the dam have been closed. Some of our faithful and non-Catholics are lodging in the main church. Others have moved out of the community for personal safety."
Some people had waist-level water in their homes. Some decided to leave the area, even though they had resided there for years.
"In fact due to the flood, most of my gadgets are damaged. I am thinking of relocating. Thankful to the Catholic Church for their support to us," said Richmond Quanson.
Stanley Martey, communications manager of Ghana Water Company Ltd., operators of the Weija dam, said the company warned residents for days ahead of the spillage, "but many did not heed the warning."
A spokesman for Ghana's National Disaster Management Organization said: "This is not the normal raining season that we all know. We are talking about climate change, global warming, and the rains came at a time nobody was expecting it and the inflow into the dam is high. Without the spillage, the dam could burst, with dire consequences to those downstream."