The Rains are here Again, Are we ready?

By: Henry Atitsogbui, Intern

 How sad and pity I felt for those victims of flood, as I stood on the street of Accra can’t be expressed. At my far right, was water gushing mightily into people’s houses, leading to the destruction of properties.

The frustration on their faces can’t be explained. The concern of people living in Accra is not about building of schools and health centers, but flood.

In recent times, flood has become a threat to those in Accra and those who are thinking of settling in the national capital.

Records have it that, there was a heavy downpour on June 28, 2001, which was recorded as the worst flooding in Accra since July 4, 1995, water submerged parts of Accra.

On June 22 of that same year, the nation recorded a death toll of 35, being the worst flood in Ghana. Reports from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) indicated that, as of October 14, 2010, over 161,000 people, had been displaced by flood across the country, due to torrential rains and opening of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.

It happened again on May 31, 2013, June 4, 2014, June 6, 2014 and the worst was June 3, 2015, claiming over 150 lives.

Just some few days to the commemoration of June 3 disaster, another flooding incident occurred.

Several reports listed the following as the major cause of flooding in Accra; poor drainage system, improper disposal of refuse, urbanization, population growth, poor enforcement of laws, among others.

The law enforcement agencies that look into building and construction, are not up to the task of checking those who build on unauthorized places.

Littering is one of the factors that can’t be overlooked; most parts of Accra are littered with sachet water bags and causes gutters to choke.

Another factor is building on water ways, this makes it difficult for water to flow as it should and therefore, finds its way into homes destroying lives and properties.

Over the years, the negative aspect of flooding in Accra has been massive. A typical example was the June 3 2015, water-fire disaster that occurred at Accra-Circle, where over 150 people lost their lives and 1000s of people displaced.

Other effects of flood, include damage of properties, destruction of crops and live stock, as well as deterioration of health conditions owing to water borne diseases.

One of the ways of addressing indiscriminate dumping of refuse is to turn waste into resources.

In advance countries like Switzerland, waste is recycled to the extent that, there’s a shortage of waste in that country.

Currently, it is common to see people picking used sachet water bags on the streets to make their livelihood.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), must demolish buildings on water ways to allow for easy flow of water.

Instead of open drains, government must make the effort to construct underground sewage.

Finally, there should be public education to inform the people about the negative effects of their attitudes and the resulting danger flood has on their lives and properties.

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