The northern regions have suffered most from the heavy flooding, as more than 70% of the population there are dependent on agriculture. Large areas are under water following three weeks of constant rain, and more rain is expected to fall during the months that follow. The regions in Ghana which are economically least developed are the hardest hit, and the material damage and the consequences thereof are dramatic for the people.
More than 350,000 people are directly affected and 100,000 are homeless, according to government officials and the Red Cross. Enormous areas of cultivable land and fields were washed away, crops were destroyed and livestock has been depleted. If the people are not supported sufficiently, there will be a general shortage of food after the harvesting period in May 2008. The infrastructure has also suffered great damage, as bridges, water pipes, schools and streets have been wrecked. The risk of cholera and malaria infection is on the increase.
A state of emergency has been declared in the three most affected regions, and relief supplies are being sent there by air and water. These relief efforts cannot reach all the people in need of help in the flooded regions, however. Many people have not received any help at all, and there is a general need for food, medication, mattresses and blankets. SOS Children's Villages, in cooperation with the national authorities, are providing food and building material (rice, cooking oil, cement, tin roofs) for some 1,200 children and their families.