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The Accra floods, can we ever win this war?

The Accra flood is now becoming an annual ritual

The Accra floods are back again and there seem to be no end in site. It is all about complaints and no concrete action. This may be the first, but it will never be the last in the days ahead of us. This has become an annual ritual, with the most vulnerable residents suffering the most. It is very painful to work all year round and make investments only for the rains to come and destroy them.

History of  floods in Ghana.

The first ever flood was in 1960 with precipitation of 98mm. The first major flood in the fourth republic in Accra was in 1995 which saw cars float in areas like Odawna.

Since then, the number of floors recorded seem to be on the high side. Over 300,000 Ghanaians were affected in the three regions of the North in 2007 and 35 people perished in 2010 due to floods. There were 5 and 14 deaths in the Eastern and Greater Accra in 2011 and the worst ever death to floor was in 2015. 150 people lost their lives in the twin water and fire disaster. The death of the doctor along the  Teshie bush road in 2018 is still fresh in our minds.

It is strange that these floors happens under different political regimes and none seems to know how to fix the issue.

So how did we get here, and is there no way out?

Many were expected that with the presence of a workaholic and no nonsense minister in charge, this will be the end, but they are disappointed. We cannot blame the minister so much whose is also having problems of his own to deal with in parliament with regards to his absenteeism. Investigative Journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni revealed that the Ministers of Works, Housing, and Sanitation had paid GHS100,000,000 to a company by name Dredge Masters, to desilt the Odaw drain. We were expecting that with the amount involved, the problem would be solved, given that Ibrahim Mahama did the same job for free a few years ago.

The problem even gets bigger, any time we attempt fixing it.

It now seems like when we attempt to work on the drains ahead of the rain, the situation gets worse rather than better. The situation of the twin fire and flood disasters is still fresh in our minds and many are still grieving over their losses from years ago. Dredge masters a couple of weeks ago also complained about the attitude of encroachers affecting their work.  We all complained that the squatters at “Sodomy and Gomorrah” were our biggest problem with regards to our annual floods and that, with their relocations, our problems would be over. It seems our real problem is now even beginning.
Ghana have now accepted to live with it and only pray that for a particular year, the effect should be minimal. This is because they now understand that their leaders continue to fail them and there will be no help in the near future.

My personal view

I personally think this war can not be won. I say this based on a lot of factors, the chief of which being our attitude. Until we get bins in every corner of our communities and streets and allow people to drop things off for free, this problem will never go away. There must be serious education after that and a serious crackdown irrespective of political affiliations. It is only when we do this that we can even think of getting close to solving the issue. Why won’t there be floods when we drink water and throw the rubber where we want without any punishment? If others have done it, we can equally do it, but the path to that day has still not been discovered.

By Robert

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