CONTAINING FLOODS IN THE CITY
SINCE 2007, Ghana has experienced floods anytime there is a downpour. These floods present serious challenges to the state and individuals.
Apart from the devastating effect, floods also cause the death of citizens particularly in the Greater Accra region alone.
Sad to say that in the past few weeks, over 10 deaths have been recorded in two separate floods in the city while others are reported missing.
The flash floods that are being experienced in the southern part of the country have been attributed to both natural causes and man-made activities.
While some studies link the issues of flood to climate change and its attendant erratic rainfall, others attribute it to poor development planning of residential areas and also inadequate information on early warning signs.
But, perhaps, the major contributory fact could also be the poor, ineffective and sometimes belated responses by institutions in responding to the aftermath of the floods.
On many occasions these institutions are lethargic and their interventions ineffective.
Our concern is that with urbanisation and increase in population it is likely that the country would continue to experience floods until concrete measures are taken to contain it.
It is against this backdrop that the Ghanaian Times notes the effort by the government to allocate GH¢197m to the Ministry of Works and Housing, to help contain floods and clean up drains and gutters in the country.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, who announced the allocation to the media, said as part of efforts to contain flooding, there would be dredging and de-silting of major drains in the city.
She said, in addition more drains would be constructed to ensure free flow of rain water to reduce the perennial floods.
Although we commend government for allocating the money for flood control, we would have wished that it was done ahead of the rainy season.
We are fully aware of the competing social-economic needs of the public but the perennial floods need permanent attention.
It is our hope that the monies allocated would be disbursed to contractors who would be contracted to work on the various trains in order to prevent further deaths.
The floods this year have already claimed more than 10 lives and destroyed many properties. It should not be allowed to do further damage anywhere in the country.
We hope that the public would also adhere to warnings and clear off waterways and desist from building structures that block water courses in the city.
It s true that Ghana, like many countries, is prone to a range of environmental and natural disasters including floods but the impact of such disasters depend on the preparedness of the people.
We, therefore, call on the public to heed the call to all city dwellers to avoid building in waterways to minimise floods to avoid unnecessary deaths.