Regional News of 2014-06-06

Disinterest in planinng to blame for Accra floods – Prof. Songsore

A Geographer and a Planning expert, Professor Jacob Songsore, has said though Accra is predisposed to floods due to its geographical location, the disinterest of city authorities and residents in science and technology and proper planning is to blame for the increase in floods in the city.

He explained that coastal settlements are “located in a low-lying area principally for trade…so it is already predisposed to the possibility of flooding".

Most areas in Accra got flooded on Thursday after hours of heavy downpour.

The Mayor of Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) blamed the situation on the choked Korle Lagoon, which he indicated will be de-silted soon to allow the Odaw River which runs through Accra to flow into it.

Prof. Songsore on the Citi Breakfast Show mentioned that the two main causes of flooding are natural and human induced.

In relation to the capital city, he stated that Accra has a combination of both factors.

“There is a problematic combination of irrational, informal human settlement development…and this natural factor…it is our own lack of technology, it is our own disinterest in planning, our own disinterest in science and technology.”

According to him, because Ghana is a faith-based society which does not place much premium on science and technology, technical problems are not managed effectively.

“If we are a faith-based society and we go and pray every day and we dwell in areas that should not be dwelt on and we behave in a very irrational manner by throwing things in drains, and the Metropolitan Authorities do not clear the garbage, we will continue to have much greater incidents of flooding,” he said.

Prof. Songsore pointed out that the Odaw River is the main drainage system in the capital; therefore, if it is not de-silted on a regular basis, the flooding in the city will increase.

The geographer further stated that areas such as Oyarifa, Spintex Road and other new settlements got flooded on Thursday because lands which are designated to serve as “urban agricultural zones” have been taken over by human settlements.

He cautioned that residents in Accra should expect more cases of flooding as a result of the “unusual weather events [climate change]".

He counseled the AMA to “think beyond itself…to bring all the chieftains as Metropolitan Municipal Authorities under one body to superintend over this territorial space.”

Source: citifmonline.com
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