Member of Parliament (MP) for Klottey Korle, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, on Tuesday, stated her passion for the environment, with a strong call for all to play an active role to keep the communities safe and avoid flooding.
In a statement on the floor of Parliament on the perennial flooding in parts of Accra, the MP, a medical doctor, made an urgent appeal to the Speaker to direct an inter-sectoral meeting for the committees on Environment, Science and Technology, Interior (including NADMO), Works and Housing, Local Government and Rural Development to have a joint sitting to apprise themselves of the country’s preparedness to such crises.
The meeting, Dr Agyeman- Rawlings said, should also ascertain what pre-emptive measures had been instituted to mitigate the impact of rains on the safety and security of inhabitants.
The Klottey Korle MP, recalled with sorrow the several incidents of flooding in 2015 and 2016, and the “twin disaster” of fire and floods on June 3, 2015, at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, which claimed about 150 lives, and etched in the memory of Ghanaians.
And “during the last rains about 10 days ago, a woman carrying a baby on her back got drowned in Osu as she tried to make her way home. She left behind a nine-month old baby, who survived against the odds after going into a coma.”
The Klottey-Korle Constituency falls within the Accra Metropolitan Area, for which the Government is yet to appoint Chief Executives, who are the political administrators, as well as in other local government areas.
The MP, therefore, urged the Government to expedite the appointment of the New Mayor of Accra, “so that we can work closely to ensure a clean, disciplined and orderly Capital city.”
She underlined the need for attitudinal change to waste disposal, sitting of buildings at wrong places, and sustained enforcement of bye-laws regarding sanitation by the relevant authorities.
Among other measures, she also suggested the preservation of green area such as the Efua Sutherland and the Achimota Forest, up-cycling and recycling and possibly the banning of the use of plastics.
She appealed to Parliament to team up with the Media to advocate behavioural change towards the environment and sanitation.
While applauding recently vetted and approved Ministers for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation as well as Works and Housing commitment and programmes, Dr Agyemang-Rawlings, expressed concern on their timelines for implementation as there had already been major rainstorm this year.
“With the onset of the early rains comes panic, a sense of helplessness and insecurity due to the internal displacement, loss of lives and property and disease outbreaks within our communities. We cannot prevent the storms, but we can certainly expedite measures to mitigate the effects of rainfall on our quality of life. The general trend is, most drains following each rainstorm are overflowing with plastics and other non-degradable material, “Dr Agyeman- Rawlings noted.
“Some of the factors that bring the floods are the poor disposal of refuse and choked drains, the loss of attenuation reservoirs between Aburi and Accra flouting of the laws regarding planning, building structures on waterways and a drainage system that no longer has the capacity to contain the volume of floodwater due to rainfall.”
Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, the MP for Adenta, said the constituency was also experiencing floods, which he attributed to the non-enforcement of land use policy.
“We have the right to own land, but we can’t do anything we like on the land”, he cautioned.
Madam Helen Adwoa Ntoso, MP for Krachi West, called for the renewing of the communal spirit in the upkeep of the environment.
She decried the throwing of garbage into the drains.
Nenyi George Andah, MP for Awutu Senya West, appealed for more resources to the communities to execute sanitation activities.