The word Flood comes from the old English flōd’ akin to the German word ‘flut’ and the Dutch word ‘vloed’ from the same root as is seen in flow and float. The Oxford Reference Dictionary defines a flood as an overflowing or influx of water beyond its normal confines.
The Wikipedia encyclopaedia further defines it as an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. It is usually due to the volume of water within a body of water, such as rains, river or lake, exceeding the total capacity of the body, and as a result some of the water flows or sits outside of the normal perimeter of the body.
Floods, which are the most frequent type of disaster worldwide are not recent developments, but can be traced to biblical times. The first recorded being “the Great Flood” in Noah’s time which was a consequence of forty days rain. Since then many more have been chronicled with their associated destruction and disruption of social and economic life.
Floods occur in almost all parts of the world with differing intensities and effects but solutions are made control the situation.
But, years after years, some parts of Accra has always been flooded during the rainy season and it seems there haven’t been permanent measures to curb situation.
As we are approaching another rainy season, I questioned, is Accra ready for the downpours? Or everyone will look unconcern whiles lives are perished and properties destroyed by the storm as experienced yearly?
Well, I think we should rather be grateful to the Almighty for the rains during this period because of its positive side including – being beneficial for our farmers, help fill the Akosombo dam to curb the erratic power supply aka ‘Dumsor’ and for domestic usage as well.
Heavy downpours should never be a curse on Ghana - rather it should be a blessing.
But what do we see as a nation? Ghanaians always get worried when what many termed as “showers of blessing” is due because some will be left homeless and lives will be lost after each day rains.
The capital city [Accra] has always been a flood prone zone yet the mayor keep promising that the problem will be solved but immediately the rainy season go by, it’s overlooked.
Some suburbs of Accra like Kaneshie Market, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, and Caprice among other areas have never been spared by the floods but the situation remains the same till date.
Who should we blame?
Although many African states have implemented programmes aimed at controlling floods and other natural hazards, the problem of flooding has persisted and seems to be increasing in Ghana, mainly Accra.
Severe flooding ravaged Accra over the years displacing hundreds of people and wiping properties.
The Accra Metropolitan Area perennially suffers from flooding with any sustained downpour, although a greater percentage of the city is above sea level (50 to 100metres) and has some form of organised drainage.
Despite the city’s poor drainage system, indiscipline from the citizenry by littering around is a major cause of flooding in Accra.
Flooding does not affect the individuals or areas involved but rather the country as a whole. The social aspects include the loss of lives, properties, businesses and homes.
With regards to education, some school children are not able to attend school whenever there’s a heavy downpour due to the risk involved, thus being behind his/her mates on topics taught at school on that day.
With its economic effect, I think we tend to rather spend more money and waste time on the affected people when the incident occurs.
In a nutshell, since flooding is a natural phenomenon, I think we should try taking measures to reduce its occurrences than finding a remedy after its occurrence.
Firstly we should educate the public on how filth in our gutters affects the drainage system thus causing flooding when it rains.
Though there have been several clean up exercises which are being organised monthly in our various homes and market places, I think a law should be enforced to punish citizens who are not participating to encourage more people to take part.
And finally, the appropriate authorities should be proactive and ensure that citizens abide by all laws to do with putting up structures.
Rains should be a blessing not a cure. Long Live Ghana!
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