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Let’s Act To Prevent Flooding – State Institutions Urged   
 
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23-Oct-2019  
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Nana Dwomoh Sarpong
 
 
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An environmentalist, Nana Dwomoh Sarpong, has urged state institutions, especially the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to move away from the incessant talk shop and be proactive in managing and preventing floods.

He said for far too long, the authorities had paid lip service to the issue of floods, and it was time they acted decisively to prevent the loss of lives and property.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic last Saturday, Nana Sarpong who is the president of Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO), said all the MMDAs had environmental laws but regrettably many of them were just on paper.

“Floods have become a common feature and pose a potent threat,” he said.

He said when flood came one should have an effective disaster management system in place to save lives.

Lessons not learnt

Nana Sarpong, who is also the Executive Chairman of the Radford University College in Accra, said, “The irony of the situation is that the underlying causes of the floods are well known to the authorities and there are enough bye-laws to check the problem but what is lacking is the will power to implement the laws.”

“We know the problem, we know the solution, but why are we not implementing the solution?” he asked.

Making reference to the latest floods in the Upper East Region that killed 19 people, Nana Sarpong said “we are not learning our lessons.”

He said if efforts were not put in place to solve the perennial problem, many more people would continue to die and property destroyed.

Right strategies

Admitting that although it was quite impossible to completely fight natural calamities like flooding, Nana Sarpong said there could be preventive measures to save the situation, when the right strategies were put in place.

For instance, he said the manner the drainage systems were designed and constructed in the country left room for flooding to occur when it rained.

He wanted the natural drainage systems to be protected so that the flow of water was not impeded.

He indicated that another fallout from flooding was the spread of diseases, which also came with devastating consequences.

Planning

Nana Sarpong chastised the MMDAs for failing to plan properly.

He said the floods which created catastrophes were mostly due to bad planning of cities. No proper open drain system and all that,” he said.

He said with climate change driving more frequent extreme weather, the nation needed to sit up and do the right things.

“The state and the assemblies should be more stringent in controlling environmentally nasty actions,” he said.

He added: “The drains are also choked because of garbage dumped in them which blocks the easy flow. This means we have to develop fast drain systems.”

The environmentalist called for the harvesting of rain water in every house to capture as much water as possible while tree planting should also be taken seriously.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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