President Mahama attends service to mark nation's worst disaster
President Mahama attends service to mark nation's worst disaster

Today, Friday June 3rd marks exactly a year when the nation stood still after a heavy downpour which led to the demise of over 154 people and the loss of property worth millions of Cedis.

President Mahama attends service to mark nation's worst disaster
President Mahama attends service to mark nation’s worst disaster

Twelve months down the line, the capital still does not seem ready to avert any potential disasters that might occur as we enter into the raining season.

Though some steps have been taken by city authorities to prevent the unfortunate from happening again, a lot still needs to be done to ensure the safety and security of all Ghanaians

Improper planning of the city, choked drains, and generally poor drainage systems in the city have been blamed for the floods that occurred a year today. But question is, what lessons have we learned after the disaster and how have we ensured that the coming rains will not endanger lives and property?

The photo on our front page depicts how some storm drains in the capital have been left unattended since the 2015 June 3rd disaster. The photo to the left is the storm drain behind Paloma Hotel, which collects run-off water from Nima, Mamobi, and surrounding areas. It shows the top portion of a collection of cars that were carried into the drain on that fateful June 3rd day. The photo to the right was taken only yesterday but shows no evidence of de-silting having taken place. It still is home to a large deposit of debris, mostly of household refuse, and broken down sections of the drain’s walls and banks. There is no doubt that in the event of a heavy downpour the materials that have been left to pile up in the drain would obstruct the flow of water, and possibly lead to flooding in the surrounding areas.

A cursory look at the various drainage systems that lead to the Odaw river and the Korle Lagoon leave much to be desired. Many of these drains are still silted and have their pathways blocked with refuse that have been left to accumulate and harden.

Suburbs such as Dansoman, Santa-Maria, Adabraka, Palace Town and some part of Teshie-Nungua continue to experience flooding with the slightest rain and this comes largely as a result of choked gutters, indiscriminate building in water ways, among other human activities.

According to the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuiye, Accra is in a better position to deal with flood now than the previous year. He said this on the basis of the dredging activities that were on going in the Odaw River and Korle

Lagoon but bemoaned the lack of communication gadgets to better coordinate operations in the event of disasters.

The AMA Boss made this known during a media briefing on activities earmarked to mark the first anniversary of the disaster, held at the Assembly’s head office.

The evidence seen by the Public Agenda, which we believe most readers can confirm, points to the contrary. They are indeed not as assuring as the AMA boss would want us to feel. Residents of the capital must indeed brace themselves for a possible re-occurrence of floods should the rains come hard at us this year.

The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) is equally not ready to the task of saving lives and properties if disaster strikes. This is because the organisation still lacks certain basic equipments, which will help facilitate their work.

Source: Public Agenda

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