JUNE 3 FLOOD AND FIRE DISASTER, NEVER AGAIN!

TODAY marks the first anniversary of the June 3 flood and fire disaster which claimed the lives of 160 people.

In Accra, a number of activities are going on to mark the day which remains one of the dark days on the calendar of the country.

While the survivors and families of the victims are still nursing the physical and emotional wounds, the AMA Chief Executive, Mr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, says that the assembly is committed to preventing the re-occurrence of any disaster in Accra.

We have heard such assurances before and the people of Accra, and for that matter Ghanaians, would definitely prefer to see AMA’s commitment on the ground and not in words.

After the June 3 disaster, residents especially along water channels in Accra tend to panic for fear of flooding. Obviously because of lack of infrastructure to assure them that there would be no more floods.

The rains continue to expose choked drains and filth in the capital as a result of poor sanitation practices and improper disposal of waste by residents. Is it any surprise that many areas of Accra continue to be flooded with the slightest rain?

Weeks ago, Dredge Masters Limited, a subsidiary of Zoomlion started executing AMA’s contract to desilt the Odaw drain and dredge the Korle Lagoon, where all the flood waters congregate.

That work is about 70 % complete, and according to the AMA, the recent rains would have caused flooding havoc, but for the clearing of the Odaw cannel and the lagoon.

In addition, the AMA recently secured a 750-million dollar Chinese loan to help in executing various projects to transform Accra.

We commend the AMA for these initiatives which would help in preventing the re-occurrence of preventable flood situations in the capital.

As the assembly embarks on the transformation projects which include the building of more storms drains, we wish to remind the AMA of the challenge of changing attitudes for people to adopt good waste disposal and environmental practices.

There is a need to give more attention to attitudinal change since the objectives of the various projects would not be achieved if people continued to dispose waste into drains.

As a way of forcing people to change, we urge the AMA to strictly enforce its bye-laws on sanitation to punish those who flout the sanitation laws to serve as deterrent to others.

The June 3 disaster has served as a clarion call and we should all heed to it by ensuring that such a disaster do not recur.

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