It’s March 13, 2017 and we all just heard from the Ghana Meteorological Agency that the rains will be very severe this year. I watched and listened to the news on tv with my mouth wide open, and I asked myself, “how prepared are we for the coming rains as predicted?” Then thoughts of last two years flood and fuel explosion at a fuel station near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle started flooding my mind. Sorry for taking your minds back to that tragedy in which many people lost their lives. Are we really ready and prepared for the coming rains?
Are we ready to clear the choked drains? Will we be able to make sure that all structures on water ways are demolished? Can we find out those who issued the permits for such structures and let them face the full rigors of the law? Do our leaders have the political will to crack the whip on these law breakers to serve as a deterrent to other citizens? It is time for us to get it right and put our acts together and make sure that not a single Ghanaian life is lost during this year’s rainy season.
We can also do our part by not dumping rubbish into the drains, desilting choked drains, disposing off rubbish properly, and reporting people who go contrary to the sanitation laws in our communities. We should not wait for disasters to strike before we call on the government to come to our aid. Anytime I hear that phrase, I become very much annoyed to the core. We also don’t want to see the annual ritual of politicians touring disaster zones and sharing relief items to victims. Those relief items will never be enough for the disaster victims.
In my candid opinion, the name of the National Disaster Management Organization should be changed to National Disaster Prevention Organization. The warning signs are all over the place, the earlier we act, the better for this country. The future generations will like to see a Ghana that is devoid of floods. A Ghana where our city authorities will walk the talk and have the political will to take the right actions to cleanse our cities of filth.
Ghana experiences the harmattan and the rainy seasons and these two weather patterns have an impact on all aspects of the life of the people living in the country. The rainy season in particular sometimes delay and our meteorologists sometimes attribute these changes in the weather pattern to the climate change phenomenon. They often give weather predictions and people are made aware of the changing weather pattern so that they schedule their daily activities so as prepare very well for an impending storm or heavy downpour. But the question i have here is that, are we prepared for the rainy season? Reports of floods in some of the major cities are very rife on the airwaves and in the newspapers, what are we doing as good citizens to make sure the perennial flooding in some of our major towns and cities is reduced to the barest minimum. Accra and Kumasi are no exceptions to flooding in Ghana. When this occurs, lives are lost and properties worth millions of Ghana Cedis are destroyed by the raging floods. The government is then called in to come to the aid of the affected citizens, but they only provide relief items and usually do not tackle the root causes of the problem. The government lacks the political will to pull down or demolish structures built on water ways, prosecute people who divert the courses of rivers and streams, and put in place measures to prevent or deter people from dumping refuse into the drains and unauthorized places. As a result of all these negative practices which the government is unable to curtail, most of the drains and gutters in some of the major cities are choked with refuse and liquid waste, and the impending rains are bound to cause more havoc. So as an individual and a Ghanaian living in our dear country, how prepared are you in your own small way to make sure that you do not fall victim to this perennial flooding in the towns and cities? The most amazing and surprising thing is that, when the floods happen and lives and properties are lost, that’s when the solutions are prescribed by both the government and the people. Are you prepared to pull down your house which you have built on the waterway through the connivance of some corrupt Town and Country Planning official, who took some bribe from you and gave you the green light to put up your structure? Are we also willing to help desilt the gutters in our communities before the onset of the rains? It seems the sense of communal labor that used to exist in our communities some time back is no more as most people are just sitting there waiting for the government to come and desilt their drains or gutters for them? I believe and think that we are simply not prepared fro the oncoming rains. We are behaving like the vulture who has no proper place of abode but tells itself when it starts raining, that tomorrow it will build its nest, but just as the rain stops, it goes back to perch on the tree and forgets that it rained. God bless Ghana, amen.