Rainfall; A blessing or a curse in Ghana?

Road Destroyed By Floods In Upper West Region Ghana August 2021 Ministry Of Roads And Highways Ghana Roads destroyed by rainfall

Sat, 16 Jul 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Flooding which is a norm in the country during every rainy season is disproportionately destroying building structures, further worsening the economic status, particularly for people who live in lower areas and informal settlements.

In the context of Ghana, apart from the destruction of properties and economic losses due to flooding, people living in flood-prone areas are at a higher risk of contracting diseases such as cholera, malaria, hepatitis E among others.

As farmers in some parts of the country are fervently praying for higher amounts of rainfall to boost productivity, majority of Ghanaians are against heavy rainfalls as it put their lives in danger.

According to the Overall Green Flood alert of the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, about 200 people were displaced between the 2nd and 9th of April, 2022 in Ghana as a result of flooding.

An update from the Ghana flood list stated that 5 people lost their lives in flooding in the North East Region of Ghana over the last few days.

Also according to media reports, 3 fatalities occurred in the Chereponi district on 28 August 2022, two people died attempting to cross a swollen river in the Bunkpurugu Nakpanduri district on 26 August 2022.

It was further recorded that, damaging floods struck Ghana‘s Upper West Region after recent heavy rainfall.

Disaster authorities said over 1,605 people were affected and over 100 homes destroyed. Furthermore, flooding caused severe damage to roads and bridges in the region, impacting livelihoods and leaving some communities cut off.

In Accra, there are uncountable events of flooding events after every rainfall this year. About 10 to 15mins of every rainfall in Accra results in flooding putting the lives of the people in danger.

The begging question on everyone’s mind now is; is rainfall now a curse or a blessing in Ghana? I leave the answer to your views.

The causes of flooding in the country are mostly attributed to poor drainage systems, poor waste management, removal of urban vegetation, and poor urban and structural planning.

While the aforementioned are true, the fact that the planning system in Ghana has failed to successfully control urban physical development and has exacerbated the effects of urban flooding cannot be overemphasized.

Flooding with its accompanying devastating effects are usually blamed on the government and other stakeholders, however, these claims cannot be entirely true.

With the interventions of flooding being beyond the grasp of the community and individuals, government over the years have put in place series of engineering interventions and policies to control urban flooding.

The construction, excavation, rechanneling and maintenance of storm drains such as the Odaw Basin, the Greater Accra Resilience and Integrated Development Project (GARID) which is aimed at improving flood risk and solid waste management in Accra, eviction notices to informal residents, particularly in settlements in floodplains and wetlands, monthly communal labor in towns and cities for de-silting gutters spearheaded by governments among others are some interventions implemented by government to tackle the problem of flooding.

With that said, individuals in the country have a role to play to ensure urban flood resilience and sustainability.

This calls for behavioral reformation among the people towards the environment.

The perpetual habit of people dumping wastes into water basins and gutters and building in flood-prone areas among others providing a suitable avenue for flooding to take place should be dealt with.

Moreover, actions and plans that can be implemented to control flooding and its alarming consequences should not be politicized in the country.

To this end, the issue of flooding can be tackled if individuals and communities play their role and government show commitment and implement policies aimed at bringing a lasting solution to the continuous flooding situation in the country. God bless our homeland Ghana.

Columnist: www.ghanaweb.com
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