No major flooding after Monday downpour in Accra
Date published: Tuesday, 15th March 2016
Water flowing in the Paloma drain at Nima
Six hours of rain in the national capital, Accra, Monday left many commuters; particularly schoolchildren, stranded as they struggled to get to school and other destinations.
That was as a result of the flooding of some roads and the unavailability of public transport, particularly the popular trotro vehicles.
Major roads such as the Graphic Road, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Okponglo, Shiashie and Dzorwulu were the worst affected by the floods.
Although desilting works on some major drains resulted in the free flow of water in those drains, some other roads were flooded.
The rains compelled the Interior Minister, Mr Prosper Bani, to tour some of the flood-prone areas to assess the impact of the first major rainfall in the national capital this year.
Accompanied by officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ghana National Fire Service, the Ghana Police Service and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the minister visited the Paloma Drain at Nima, the Odawna River, the Korle Lagoon, the Odorkor road and Mallam Junction.
Unlike earlier situations that were attributed to choked drains which caused the floods and the resultant destruction of lives and property, earlier desilting works undertaken by the AMA to avert the recurrence of floods appeared to have had a positive impact as there was free flow of water in the drains and no floods in the suburbs.
At the Paloma Hotel, for instance, though the drain was almost full, the water was flowing unhindered.
The situation was not different with the Odawna River at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, where there was also a free flow of water, following the desilting of the river some weeks back.
However, some small drains still under construction were choked, resulting in the flooding of streets.
A visit to the Korle Lagoon also saw the free flow of water which ran into the sea.
Poor engineering works
At the Obetsebi Lamptey Roundabout, Mr Bani asked the Director of Drains of the AMA, Mr Graham Sarbah, to ensure that the drain in front of the Hyundai Auto Company which joins other drains whose waters empty into the Korle Lagoon, as well as the drain in front of Accra Academy, were properly constructed.
On the Odorkor-Darkuman road and Mallam Junction the rainwater ran on the streets rather than flow in the drains provided along the road, a situation that some experts say is the result of poor engineering works.
That caused flooding on the streets and forced drivers plying that stretch of the road to drive slowly on the express highway for fear of splashing water on pedestrians and this in turn caused some vehicular traffic on the road.
Giving his assessment after the tour, Mr Bani said the government had taken steps to ensure that all the drains were cleared to prevent the perennial flooding that caused the destruction of lives and property.
“The security of our citizens is a very important agenda for the ministry,” he said.
However, Mr Bani pointed out that ensuring the safety of citizens could not be tackled by the ministry alone for which reason the collective efforts of stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, the media and religious institutions were needed to help educate the general public on the proper disposal of waste.
Mr Bani commended the work of the AMA and waste management company Zoomlion Ghana Limited, for ensuring that come the rains, “we will not have any disaster on our hands”.
On the way forward, he said the ministry would as soon as possible put together a team to comprehensively address the drainage challenges on the roads such that “should the rains fall, we will be ready to meet the volume of water that will come through and guard this water to its appropriate logical location without any threat to life and also the destruction of properties”.
For his part, the acting National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Brigadier General Francis Vib Sanziri, reiterated that managing disasters was the collective responsibility of all citizens and all sectors of the economy.
Therefore, he said, the organisation would continue to ensure that it sensitised all to what should be done to prevent flooding and disasters.
He stressed the need for prevention and appealed to the public to, as much as possible, clear their gutters and observe good environmental sanitation practices to prevent floods.