174 die from floods 2014-2020 …NADMO ready to avert disaster

At least 174 people died in the country during floods that occurred between 2014 and 2020, data from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has revealed.

Comprising 118 males and 56 females, they were part of 604,475 who were affected by the floods within the seven-year period.

 Averagely, about 15 people died every year in that duration.

The NADMO data also disclosed that five people got missing in those floods while 172 others sustained various degrees of injuries in their attempts to escape the disaster.

The Director of Communications of NADMO, Mr George Ayisi, disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times in an interview Monday that focused on NADMO’s preparation to avert disaster during this year’s rainy season.

Giving details, he said, in 2014, flood victims were 21,562 people but the figure reduced to 11, 098 in 2015 when the June 3 flood/ fire twin disaster occurred in Accra,

 He said the victims tripled to 36,897 in 2016; shot up to 87,750, in 2017; swelled to 142,650 in 2018 and declined to 93, 919 in 2019 which was the same year 70 people died.  That death rate was the highest recorded in the period.

Although measures were put in place to reduce the figures, Mr Ayisi said, the number of people affected increased more than twofold in 2020, with 210,599 victims.

As part of efforts to further prevent floods, he said, the organisation had identified and classified as ‘Critical Areas’, nine flood-prone areas within Greater Accra.

He said some of them were Crystal TV, Blue Lagoon, Old Roman Catholic Church, Bank of Malam Market in Sakaman;  Circle, Odawna at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in the Klottey Korle Municipality, and Kaneshie First Light , Abossey Okai Zabon Zongo in Ablekuma Central.

“We are ready [for the rainy season] in terms of mobility. There is a fleet of vehicles including search and rescue ambulance and vehicles which have been distributed to the regions to swiftly attend to emergencies,” he added.

Mr Ayisi said safe havens had also been identified at stadia, schools parks, churches and other facilities on higher grounds, to host victims from flood-prone areas during emergencies.

Mr Ayisi said NADMO had also intensified its public engagements to create awareness of the need for people to take precautionary measures during the rainy season.

He urged parents and guardians not to allow their children to play in floods during rains, and advised residents in flood-prone areas to take precautions before the rains set in.

He urged the public to desist from the negative habits such as dumping rubbish into drains, as such negative practices choked the drainage system resulting in floods.

On measures put in place to avert floods, Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, during a recent interaction with the media said the Odaw and Korle Lagoons and major drains were being dredged while the government was building culverts and drainages.

Noting that the dredging was short-term solution, he said, the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, when completed, would help improve flood risk and solid waste management.

“The government is investing lots of money into dredging every year. If we put an end to the practice of dumping solid waste in the basin, we save the country lots of money for other developmental projects,” Mr Boakye added.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI AND JONATHAN DONKOR

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