After Horrendous Flood Left Accra Dirty And Disease-Prone
Nana Akufo-Addo and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has once again boycotted the all-important National Sanitation Day exercise, three days after the heaviest rainfall in the country’s history, left over 200 dead bodies littered on the streets of Accra and rendering thousands homeless; drawing international sympathy, as well as financial support.
What should have been an event to once again bring the country together in an effort to clean debris left behind by the flood, passed without the involvement of Nana Addo and officials of his party, who accompanied him to the major disaster site last Thursday.
The National Sanitation Day, was marked only by government appointees and ordinary citizens. Madam Akua Donkor, the Founder and leader of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), was among those who took part in the exercise in Accra. Beverage maker; Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), also took part in the exercise by cleaning up parts of Adabraka.
At the Odawna, a suburb of Accra, which recorded 130 deaths, the fear of diseases, especially Cholera, sent residents out in a massive clean-up. The exercise was jointly done by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Zoomlion, a leading waste management company in Ghana.
Ironically, Nana Addo and others are later today, expected to join a cross section of Ghanaians to mark the beginning of a Three-Day National Mourning declared by President Mahama in memory of the departed souls, most of whom were killed by a storm of fire at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle. A leaking Filling Station, released fuel unto rainwater which was hit by lighting, leading to an inferno.
The three days of national mourning for the victims, will also be marked with the Ghana national flag flying at half-mast, during the mourning period.
The incident has attracted the attention of world leaders, and some of them have sent their condolences to the President and people of Ghana. They included, Pope Francis, Alassane Dramane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, Togolese President, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, Kofi Annan, Nigerian President, Mohammed Buhari, a Senegalese delegation and the Senior National team, the Black Stars.
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, Ghana Oil Limited (Goil) and Joy FM, have all setup relief funds. President Mahama, has also announced GHC50 million, earmarked as Relief Fund for the victims.
The 2016 NPP Presidential Candidate, who Thursday morning visited the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, witnessed at first-hand the devastation caused to life and property by the downpour and described the scene as a trying time and a moment to renew our faith in the Almighty.
Describing the incident as a “major tragedy for Accra” and a “very bad day” for Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, visited the Goil Filling Station that was gutted by fire, which left over 100 people dead, and also visited affected residents of Odawna, who have been displaced by the flood.
He expressed his heartfelt condolences to all those impacted by the flood.
He noted that: “These are trying moments for the families affected and I urge them to remain strong and continue to renew their faith in the Almighty. I came here, on behalf of the NPP and on my own behalf, to extend our condolence and deepest sympathies to all who have been affected by this horrendous tragedy. It is a dark day in the history of our capital, and all of us should pull together.”
He was accompanied by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso Central, Mr Henry Quartey; MP for Okaikoi South, Mr Ahmed Arthur; National Youth Organiser, Sammy Awuku; Otiko Afisa Djaba, National Women’s Organiser; Greater Accra Chairman, Ishmael Ashitey; Greater Accra Secretary, Adjei Sowah; Greater Accra Women’s Organiser, Joyce Zampare; former Mayor of Accra, and Member of the NPP’s Council of Elders, Nii Adjiri Blankson.
But none of the individuals who accompanied him, were seen at the site of the disaster helping to clean up the area.
Nana Akufo-Addo, had maintained that after those who had been displaced and affected by the floods were attended to, “we will have to look into this situation which affects us every year. We have to find out if measures that were supposed to have been put in place to forestall this occurrence were or were not put in place. If not, we must make sure that they are put in place so that we don’t go through this again in future. We have to find a lasting solution to this problem of perennial flooding.”
He continued that “Our first focus should be to come to the aid of those affected by the tragedy, and subsequently examine what needs to be done to ensure that such things do not happen ever again.”
In another development, an NPP element, Sydney Casely-Hayford, has asked Ghanaians who have built on water ways not to allow city authorities demolish their homes in the wake of the flood and fire disasters that have afflicted the nation.
Commenting on the development on Citi FM last Saturday, Casely-Hayford, said people in authority must take direct blame for the disaster.
“I am urging Ghanaians not to allow anybody pull down their homes because of what has happened. They must resist attempts to demolish their homes.
“It was the responsibility of people in direct administration of the state to ensure that people did not build at wrong places, in the first place. It is their responsibility to have ensured that the right thing was done and not to wait until this disaster happened,” he stated.
Meanwhile, most part of Accra continue to remain dirty and disease prone.