Stopping flooding is possible!!

Parts of Accra and Tema were flooded following less than two hours of heavy rains last Saturday.

Flooding is a natural phenomenon and the natural factors causing it are downpours and resulting run-offs; and overflowing rivers, breakdown of dams.

Even though the natural causes are beyond human control, humans can prepare to contain the resulting flooding by such measures as well-planned communities with good drainage systems, de-silting of drains and checking all manner of behaviour that makes a place susceptible to flooding.

Unfortunately, in Ghana, such measures are thrown to the dogs and so haphazardly-planned communities, shallow and choked drains and poor management of refuse are commonplace.

Therefore, an amount of rainfall that should not cause flooding in certain jurisdictions becomes a huge problem in the country’s urban area, particularly in Accra.

Why should just two hours of rainfall, however heavy, cause an unbearable devastation in Accra and Tema?

The perennial flooding in Accra and other urban areas of the country due to human causes are so known that people belabour the points when they are forced to discuss the matter.

The government and its agencies like the Town and Country Planning Department, the district assemblies and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) are to be blamed for the woes of flooding in the country.

Political administrators constituting the government of Ghana should count themselves fortunate for nor receiving flak for shirking their responsibility to provide shelter for the people but they must not be spared the flak for looking on while human factors continue to cause avoidable flooding in the country.

Because the government has shirked its responsibility, the people are helping themselves but not without some mess.

It is said that sometimes the work of the agencies is hampered because politicians come in to stop them from taking action against certain people and so others take advantage of the situation to also misbehave.

What does it take to stop people from throwing refuse into drains and choke them to cause flooding in some places?

It is unfortunate that whenever there is flooding and other disasters in the country, the agencies that should handle the situations come out making all manner of statements, including promises to stem such devastating occurrences and yet it does not take long and worse things happen.

One such organisations is NADMO, whose continued existence must be questioned.

The records have it that the mandate of the NADMO includes all activities from preparedness to response and recovery; preventing disasters; creating awareness in disaster-prone communities and institutions on all hazard or disaster types;and training and motivating the communities to initiate actions to prevent disasters.

Can NADMO prove to the people that it has been prosecuting its mandate just by giving relief items to disaster victims?

Since NADMO is not an income-generating entity, it means it has to go to the powers that be for resources to work effectively and the question is, are its officials doing enough in that area?

No excuse is acceptable looking at the devastating effects of the perennial flooding in Accra and elsewhere – loss of lives, property and livelihoods; and destruction of public infrastructure like roads with all the attendant problems.

The perennial flooding in the country can and must be fixed because it does not take the country unawares except that the political administrators and the relevant government agencies have been shirking their responsibilities.

Let the government release the funds and the agencies supervise the flood-related projects, seeing to it that wide and deep drains are constructed; choked drains de-silted and the laws applied to check the undesirable acts that worsen the flooding in the country.

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