Flooding has become a perennial problem that city dwellers had to endure, the situation between March and June assumed a frightening dimension. Lives and properties are lost in the process and it is estimated to cost millions of Ghana cedis.
The reasons for the flooding are well known and have been well articulated by leaders since the 1960’s as was evident in the Daily Graphic publication that went viral on social media recently.
Some of the reasons are; indiscriminate sitting of buildings on waterways, the mad rush for land reclamation without regard for environmental impact, deforestation, mindless excavation of land and the abuse of flood plains, roads are built without drainage and flood channels etc.
It is against this backdrop that this newspaper considers as misplaced the pronouncement by the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to establish a monitoring unit at the Office of the President.
Speaking at the commissioning of two IHC Beaver 50 dredgers and marine equipment of Dredge Masters Limited (DML), a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) in Accra, Nana Akufo-Addo, said flooding in Accra must end.
He added “We will ensure that these directives are complied with. I have established a monitoring unit, and they will be reporting directly to me on the progress of the implementation of these measures. I am putting all MMDCEs on notice and will be held responsible for any breaches that result in damage as a result of flooding.”
The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO)for the uninformed, is the agency of government charged with the responsibility of not just managing the effect of flooding and other natural disasters but also proactively preventing the conditions that may give rise to such disasters.
Not only has NADMO been denied the resources needed to carry out its mandate, it has been prevented from removing structures built on waterways by authorities in higher places.
We are of the view that what is urgently needed is not another monitoring unit, but the political will to do what is right. Reports exist as to what we need to do as a nation to end the perennial flooding, especially after the June 3, disaster in 2015 that claimed over 150 people.
The situation at hand demands proactive steps and highhandedness that a monitoring unit at the presidency, may not readily be able to address.
With every sense of responsibility, we are convinced that a monitoring unit, by whatever name called, will be a waste of resources, an exercise in futility.