Rain In Accra: A Blessing Or Curse?

accra floodIn these days of water shortage in most parts of Ghana especially Accra (the capital city) a rainfall is supposed to be a blessing to everyone especially those of us who spend huge money on water. But that is not the case for some residents of Accra. A rainfall that lasts for an hour or two to some residents in flood prone areas is not a blessing but a curse. No wonder that those people who get affected do pray regularly to God to delay or halt rains in the city.

Reports indicate that following the rainfall on Friday afternoon areas such as Kwame Nkrumah Circle, parts of Asylum down and Kaneshie got flooded.
The downpour which lasted about an hour submerged some buildings while residents spent the best part of the day scooping water from their rooms. Those whose houses were taken over had to abandon the buildings completely.

The floods took over many streets resulting in heavy vehicular traffic. Some drivers and passengers abandoned their vehicles in the floods with others taking refuge on top of the stranded vehicles.
Commuters were left stranded as a result of the vehicular traffic. The effect of the rainfall on life and properties is enormous. As usual the government through National Disaster Management Organization and other agencies would have to dole out large sums of money to provide relief items to the affected people and organizations. This is an expensive recurrent annual ritual that would end when steps are taken to deal with the floods.
Many vehicles and office equipments belonging to organizations like the New Times Corporation, Metro Mass Transport Ghana Private Road Transport Union and individuals have got damaged and would need to be fixed or replaced at huge costs. If the organizations have not been insured together with their vehicles and equipment they would lose out or be bailed out by government and donors.
What we need to consider is that the rainfall on Friday is not that heavy. It is enough to get us to sit up. We are yet to enter into the rainy season a few months from now during which we might experience torrential rains.
The question to ask is have we learnt our lessons on why we experience floods and attendant damage to properties of organizations and individuals in event of rains?
I do not think we have learnt our lessons. Like vultures we have often paid lip service to doing something about the havoc caused by rains. We must know that the population of Accra is growing. As a result of that buildings are springing up in all parts of the city to some extent without considering the laid down building codes and procedure. High rise buildings are being erected on waterways in areas where civil engineers consider as low lying and prone to floods.
Having been thrown into difficulty with the rains last Friday, there is the need for the authorities to examine the cause and effect of the rains with the view to embarking on the following measures.
Since the Kwame Nkrumah Circle area, Kaneshie and the affected areas are low lying zones; there is the need to create storm drains to be able to carry all the rain water during rainfalls. Currently an effort is being made to widen the storm drain in the Odaw River. We need to see action to complete work on this project which began many years ago. All illegally constructed buildings standing in water ways must be pulled down. This is the only action that will be given total support. Those buildings around Kwame Nkrumah Circle like the New Times Corporation and Metro Mass Company could be reconstructed possibly into storey buildings to avoid being flooded in future. The engineers know better and can offer advice on this suggestion.

We must not relent but take action now to deal with the problems on our hands before the major rains begin. Anything short of this will lead to another disaster in the coming days.

Executive Director


P.O.BOX 17070AN 233244370345/23326370345/ 233208844791

abdulai.alhasan@gmail.com /eanfoworld@yahoo.com


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