It's time to act to prevent floods

BY: The Mirror Editorial
Every year, we lose lives and properties to these perennial floods

The rains have started again, with some parts of Accra being submerged after the heavy downpour that occurred at dawn last Monday and on Wednesday evening.

Many residents of and around the central business district (CBD) have been left stranded and displaced.

At the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange and its adjoining areas, the downpour destroyed properties worth thousands of cedis.

In February this year, the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMET) warned that floods were going to increase in Accra this year due to the low resilience of the area to adapt to heavy rains.

It is, therefore, not surprising that Monday’s rains, which started about 1 a.m., left some places in the city flooded, displacing families and destroying properties. It was reported in the news that five persons had been confirmed dead in the floods that followed the torrential rains.

The most affected areas were Odawna, Alajo, the western part of the Graphic Road, Kaneshie, the Mallam Junction and Achimota.

Earlier, the GMET had urged individuals residing in low-lying areas in Accra to move to higher grounds or safer places before the rains set in, adding that there should also be an improvement in the capacity of the national health systems and national platforms for disaster risk reduction.

As a result of this warning, in March this year, four local assemblies in Accra said they were prepared to contain any floods this year.

The assemblies were the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Weija-Gbawe, Ga South and the Korley Klottey Municipal assemblies.

They said detailed plans had been drawn to avert flooding in their localities during this rainy season, including educating residents to adopt good environmental practices and de-silting gutters and drains.

However, it appears the plans were not ‘detailed’ enough to forestall the annual ritual.
Every year, we lose lives and properties to these perennial floods, yet, like the proverbial vulture, we

keep procrastinating and we don’t prepare ahead to avert such deadly incidents of floods.

As we know, flooding in the country occurs regularly. Many blame the degradation of the city's rivers and drainage systems.

We all have a responsibility to prevent such annual disasters. We appeal to the local assemblies to play their part by ensuring that all illegal structures and buildings on watercourses are removed to prevent floods and other disasters.

The Mirror would also urge all and sundry to refrain from compounding the problem by throwing garbage and other waste materials into open drains that end up choking the gutters and causing floods in the communities.

The recalcitrant ones should be made to face the law to serve as a deterrent to others to safe lives and properties.