God Save And Protect Us

Sometime in 2014, President John Mahama ordered Finance Minister Seth Terkper to release funds for the construction of storm drains in Accra.

The order was made when the President visited victims of floods that wreaked massive havoc in parts of Accra at the time.

Did the Finance Minister release the funds? Did they throw dust into the eyes of victims of the floods? Did the Finance Minister defy his boss’ order?

Earlier in 2012 an announcement was made about the release of $795m for the reconstruction of drains in Accra and a railway line.

The reconstruction did not obviously take place. We are not pleased about the continuity of unfulfilled promises especially when disasters like the one we are struggling to come to terms with do occur.

We have been here before.  The French describe it as déjà vu and the English have not hesitated in co-opting it into their long list of borrowed descriptions. In one of our editorials, we did point out that our political leaders take more delight in visiting and making promises to flood victims than addressing the factors which trigger them.

A major downpour and a flood have occurred and as usual politicians, who have now perfected the art of visiting victims and sympathising with them, are at it again.

The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Oko Vanderpuije, still reeling from the joy of an award of excellence, was particularly active yesterday, visiting areas mostly devastated under the cameras, motorcade and sirens et al.

Some ruling party MPs joined the fray. They appeared to be playacting when they descended upon the bridge linking Nima and Accra Newtown with a long line of official vehicles as they waved continuously to bystanders as though heading for a party rally.

Such opportunities occur occasionally and when they do, such government appointees must make the best of them. Yesterday was no exception.

Floods which occur as a result of poor city and country planning should not be attributed to God or as a force majeure as Oko Vanderpuije sought to portray Accra’s worst floods in recent years.

If Oko Vanderpuije’s invoking of God’s name was intended to turn the attention of Ghanaians, especially victims of the floods, he missed it.

Most Ghanaians are angry with him and his appointing officer. They particularly find it nauseating that he is scampering all over the place with a so-called award when the drainage in the city is a sorry sight.

A few years ago, we were promised that the flood we witnessed was the last, but we have seen more of them since then.

An assortment of headlines are bound to follow the aftermath of the floods when fresh promises about the construction of storm drains and so on are made, if they have not been made already.

Let those who make the promises remember that courtesy of Google, we can easily pick the litany of pledges to construct storm drains in Accra.