Editorial: The rains are coming, let’s be cautious

Water, they say, is life. This assertion has proven to be true in the many ways in which water is used in the life of humankind.

From individual uses for drinking, bathing, washing and cooking to Industrial use, especially in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors which rely heavily on water for most of their activities.

Despite these benefits of water, the abundance of it has caused havoc to lives and properties over the world and Ghana is not an exception.

In Ghana, especially the capital, Accra, the history of flooding dates as far back as 1959. The city experienced intensive flooding which brought Accra to a standstill and seriously destroyed lives and properties in the process.

Records of flood disaster profile in Ghana since 1968 also showed that on July 4, 1968 Accra recorded the heaviest rainfall of five inches. The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) asserts that it was the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the city, since June 1959, when a volume of 7.56 inches was registered.

The rain brought normal life in the city to a standstill, with offices and shops closed. Market women were unable to go about their trading activities, neither were school children able to step out of their homes to attend school.

Other serious floods recorded in the city include July 5, 1995; June 28, 2001; May 5, 2010; February 24, 2011; November 1, 2011; May 31, 2013; June 6, 2014; July 4, 2014 and the recent one being June 3, 2015.

The June 3 flood and explosion disaster claimed about 150 lives and destroyed properties estimated at $50 million, whilst the cost of repair was pegged around $100 million.

To prevent future occurrence, the government introduced a number of interventions, including the popular Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development project (GARID), with the aim of improving flood risk and solid waste management in the Odaw River basin of the Greater Accra region.

It was also to improve access to basic infrastructure and services in the targeted communities within the Odaw River Basin. Despite this intervention, that part of Accra still gets flooded whenever it rains.

As we have started witnessing heavy rains and thunderstorms, The Chronicle is using this medium to caution about associated floods.

While we wait on the government to find a lasting solution to this problem, we call on individuals to think about their own safety and put measures in place to avoid any unforeseen circumstance that may arise.

Let us begin to clean choked gutters and other places likely to impede the free flow of water. That aside, we plead with people living along major drains and in water logged areas to, if necessary, move out of those places when the rains start. It is better to inconvenience yourself for a while than to stay lose one’s life and properties to the floods.

We call on the government to as matter of urgency ensure that the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) get to work quickly by way of assisting people in water logged areas and to evacuate them as is done in other countries. Let us not wait for the unthinkable to happen before we act.

The time to act is now!


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