Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Perennial Floods In Accra



Introduction:
Street in front of the Christian Methodist School is flooded
The recent downpour of heavy rainfall in Ghana has caused great discomfort to many people. Destruction to life and property has been recorded in many parts of Greater Accra, with five people reported dead in the Central Region. In this photo, you find the street in front of the old campus of the Christian Methodist School, flooded by the rainfall. Well, we have gone directly to the people to find out about their frustrations and what they have as solutions to the problem of perennial flooding of some areas in the capital. Please read What The People Say below;


Vida Sulemana
Vida Sulemana
“We have suffered, really suffered as a result of the heavy downpour of rains today, Thursday (9th June, 2016) and again we have lost our belongings. Almost all of my clothing and electronic gadgets have been destroyed. I left my workplace and headed home as soon as the rains started and as you can see I am stranded because the street leading to my house has been taken over by the floods. I wish to take advantage of this medium and call on the mayor of Accra to expedite action to resolve the perennial floods that take place here at Asylum Down. Many old men and women and especially our children have nowhere to lay their heads when our houses are flooded and for many of us, we are forced to spend many days off work to clean the mud and flush out the water from our rooms. We have suffered greatly.”

De Graft Mensah
De graft Mensah
“The architectural design for the drain of this area around the Christian Methodist School and the Iran clinic is completely bad. The drain themselves that stretch from Kaokudi through Nima and Asylum Down is about 9 feet, but the drain for the exit or the confluence of the water that empty  into the Odo River from the areas mentioned above is only 5 feet and therefore when it rains heavily the water spills over by force and that is why we suffer in this place. It was for a good reason that this area is called Faanofaa, which means the mother of all the rivers or the confluence of all the rivers and that is why we need to put in place adequate measures by changing the architectural designs of the drainage system to forestall any such future occurrences. In fact, these things should have been done before the commencement of the Kwame Nkrumah interchange because the drains are so close to that beautiful infrastructure and its current location will impede the expansion project. Secondly, I think Ghanaians have become so irresponsible that we no longer care for the environment. We have made the street the Dustin for the rubbish we generate as we walk into town and I am sad and shy to find very beautiful and handsome young men and women in smart clothing litter or throw rubbish about as if the rubbish is fertilizer being sprinkled on the farm. We all know very well that plastic waste from the sachet and bottled water we dispose of improperly also accounts for the reasons why the drains are chocked and the water cannot flow but no one cares. I am very sad at this development. Everyone must take care of the environment like we take care of our wives and children and when we do that, we will drive mosquitoes away and spend less on medical bills."

Agnes Bashiru
Agnes Bashiru
Any time the rain falls heavily and there is flooding, the big men will sit in a helicopter and fly over our heads, inspecting the levels of damage to the communities but nothing is done. The helicopters came last year and it had come the previous times when we had these rainfalls. Isn’t it so annoying? What has made today’s rainfall worse is that the lights are out and we are compelled to wait till morning when the water has receded and we might have some sun to dry our wet clothing. The drain in this part of Accra must be reconstructed because they no longer serve the purposes for which they were made. We have lost too much as a result of this rainfall and we demand action from the government this time.”

Yaw Afum
Yaw Afum
“Much of the waste we generate in this country are for the consumable items we purchase from the shopping mall or items that are imported into this country. About 70% of all food we consume in this country are imported so we must compel the companies that produce these food items in abroad and those that import them to pay a special levy only for the management of the waste that is produced by the use of their products. In the first place by importing these food items from abroad, we have created jobs for the people in those countries to the detriment of the jobless lot here. Secondly, before these stuff are imported into the country, we have to change cedi into dollar placing unnecessary burden onto the local currency and the economy in  many ways. So therefore, why must we pay for clearing the mess or the rubbish that has been generated from the cheaply produced goods we have imported into our country? What is happening in this country is silly and we must rise up and demand that the right things are done else very soon, Ghana will only become the backyard of another country where all sorts of rubbish are kept.”

Gifty Sulemana
Gifty Sulemana
Our refusal to dispose of plastic waste properly also account for the reasons why we have floods in this part of Accra every time it rains. Plastic waste has consumed this country and you can find the menace everywhere you go. Whilst other countries have put in place adequate measures to control the use of plastics, Ghana does not seem to care about this problem and we keep generating more every day. The residents of this area suffer more because the drains from Aburi, Madina, Legon all empty themselves into the major drain around here and therefore we become the automatic recipients of the mess of other people. How many of us make an extra effort to make sure that the black plastics we take from the Koko and Waakye sellers are properly disposed of and how many of us make a conscious effort to avoid the plastics when we can? Almost everything you buy is accompanied with plastic bags. Take for instance the Kenkey seller. Once you approach the kenkey seller to buy kenkey, the kenkey is placed in a plastic. The fish also go into another plastic bag and the pepper is put into a different bag. As if that were not enough, the Kenkey, fish and pepper are all put into another plastic bag so you can just imagine the amount of plastics generated by Kenkey sellers alone in Accra. I think it should be possible to have another means of packaging the food we buy along the roads to reduce the amount of plastic bags we generate every hour in this country.”

Geoffrey Kweku Asante
Geoffrey Kweku Asante
“I am finished! My fridge, Television and Radio have been destroyed by the rains. We have complained several times to the authorities, but nothing has happened and yet again we have lost our properties. Look at the street behind me, it has been taken over by the floods and every house on this street is flooded. Alfred Oko Vanderpuje should explain to me why I must continue to pay him every month, provide a vehicle for his use, buy plane tickets for him every time he travels as he delivers so poorly since he was appointed mayor of Accra. How was he elected the best mayor of Africa when he keeps flooding our homes and destroying our electronic gadgets? All of my clothing is gone and the few I could rescue is soaked with mud. Oko Vanderpuje why? “

Vida Hagor
Vida Hagor
I am most worried about these rains because of my children. I have no idea where they will lay their heads this evening when they return from school because the mud of the rain has completely taken over my room. We have had several promises from the men who’ve been employed by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (A.M.A) to serve us in working to ensure that floods like these do not destroy my belongings but they are not working. The floods bring hardships to us in many ways. In the first place our electronic gadgets and personal effects are all destroyed. Secondly, we do not have places to lay our heads when it rains as some of our buildings often collapses or are partially damaged.”

Osafo Kwesi Abraham
Osafo Kwesi Abraham
“It is obvious that the impact of global warming could be devastating for humanity living everywhere in the world. This morning I have seen the news the floods that have occurred in France and the damage it has done in most parts of that country. What we are witnessing in Ghana is a call for everyone to work harder towards reversing this trend limiting the amount of poisonous gases we emit into the atmosphere. The bigger manufacturing companies in the West are the main cause of this crisis because of the pollution they have caused to the atmosphere, but we equally have a role to play in Ghana. At least we can ensure that the we work to put an end to the indiscriminate disposal of waste and demand that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is made to function as it should be and they stop sharing excuses every time we have floods and other such disaster which damage property and destroy livelihoods.”

Elisabeth Sulemana
Elisabeth Sulemana
It is shameful that we always come back to repeat the same stories every time it rains and just when the sun comes up, we all go back and sleep like there is no tomorrow. The last time it rained, it was generally recognized that the drains in Accra are chocked because of the refuse that find its way there. I heard an official from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly who said that the AMA will place dustbins of all sizes across the capital especially but I haven’t seen any. Even if you come across one, they are often filled with garbage with some of the garbage dropping off. These are people we pay every month out of our meager salaries and yet they do not perform. I’m very sad about this situation because whilst some of us work so hard to make a living, a few others take them without any justification because if they really work for them, there must be no floods in Accra.”

Martin Afum
Martin Afum
The floods have completely destroyed the walls of our houses and our rooms are filled with terrible mud. I just do not have an idea where to pass the night today. Even where we sit and ply our trade or seek or livelihood has also been taken over by the rains. My shoes and all of my clothing have been destroyed. In this day and age, why must floods destroy so much? I often try to imagine what will happen to us in the instance of the kind of earthquakes that occur in Asia. We have simply become so helpless. The cost of electricity has shot up, there are no jobs and even as we sit and plan about what we can do to help our poor souls, these rains will also seek to divert attention. Oh no, Ghana is a horrible place to live today!”

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