We are just two months way from the third commemoration of one of the dark days of the country where about 160 souls and property perished in a fire outbreak amidst flood.
While the survivors and families of the victims are still healing from emotional wounds, the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMeT) has predicted a heavy downpour with lightning flashes as part of this year’s long rainy season.
According to the agency, the rains are expected to start from April and last until the end of July. This supposes that flood prone areas are at risk.
The effects of flood waters have become a perennial problem in Ghana dating back to the early 1990s.
After the tragic June 3 incident, a committee was set and among the recommendations made, the committee proposed dredging of the Odaw and the Korle Lagoons, a ban on the use of plastic bags and certification and licensing of filling station.
The then Chief Executive of The Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuie contracted the Dredge Masters Limited, a subsidiary of Zoomlion to desilt the lagoons, where all the flood waters congregate.
All hopes were that such fatalities would not occur after the drainage of these lagoons was done. Verily, the subsequent rains have not created such flooding havoc; however, there still exist places that experience flooding with the slightest downpour.
Few months ago, it was reported that over 3,000 residents of six Districts in the Northern Region were rendered homeless after severe rainstorm battered communities.
Not to mention of the rain that locked people indoors at the Kaneshie, Abossey Okai, Circle, Nima Highway, East Legon and Tantra Hill areas some weeks ago.
That rain and its resulting floods caused massive traffic in the capital city and causing some damages to properties.
With almost three years from the tragic occurrence, what has happened to the committee’s recommendation, especially on banning plastic bags and containers? Are we prepared enough to prevent similar occurrences as the GMeT has predicted a heavy downpour in the upcoming rainy season?
If the cleaning of the Odaw and Korle lagoons has prevented the re-occurrence of the flooding havoc, then the nation risks another fatal flood as plastic containers and bags have choked up these drainage.
Take a walk along the banks of the two main drainage; i.e. Odaw and Korle, and see how the lagoons have become garbage soups with plastic bags and containers floating on the water. This has made the levels of the water rise up.
With the slightest rain, the lagoons, especially Korle, will overflow its bank causing a lot of flood in the city.
This, among others, is clear indication that we are lingering behind as far as preparations towards the prevention of floods are concerned.