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Opinions Sun, 23 Apr 2017

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Restoring sanity not blanket distribution

There is a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), one whose assignments are not enviable at all.

One of the worrying features of the nation’s capital is the indiscipline dotting across it. Residents, especially those engaged in petty commercial activities, and property developers have proven to be hard at listening to the directives of the city authorities specifically the AMA. The outcome of this has been the eyesore in some parts of the city – some of them attracting disasters when the deluges set in.

Countless interventions have been adopted by previous city administrations all to no avail. Under the past CEO, expensive efforts went into clearing some parts of the city to obviate the perennial disasters which visit Accra when the heavens open up between May and July.

A case in point is the clearing by AMA of the Feoeyoo area along the railway line. The place after the exercise was rid of the drainage obstructing structures. Painfully the eyesores are returning. The roofing sheet structures are almost back.

The pavements around the Circle interchange have been taken over by hawkers of an assortment of wares as though there are no bylaws in the city. It is the price we pay for politicizing everything under the sun in this country. When people breach the law and the appropriate sanctions are slapped on them, people with political agenda pass remarks which muddy the waters – the outcome being the construction of obstructions on waterways.

The new AMA chief appears set to clear the pavements around the Circle Overpass of hawkers. A successful undertaking of the project would not only save lives of the hawkers but restore the beauty of the location and instill a necessary sanity to what has not become a bedlam of chaos.

The new AMA strongman is assuming office when we are close to the commencement of the rainy season, a period when residents of Accra become apprehensive about how the weather would treat the city.

The drainage is not in the best of conditions and this alongside the bad habits of residents aggravates the apprehension.

Gone are the days when rains especially at night meant good sleep. This time when the heavens open up, residents especially in flood-prone areas, observe vigils lest their houses are inundated by pestilent floods.

We welcome any move that would obviate a repeat of the killer floods which the city observed in the past especially two years ago.

Sustainability of action is however the watchword and above all the non-politicisation of good intentioned actions. Let them not incite those flouting the bylaws of the city who find themselves on the other side of the political divide. When the NDC AMA Chief undertook his action of ridding the city of dangerous structures, especially along waterways, residents were generally supportive of the action considering what they go through during rainy seasons.

We encourage the AMA chief alongside other state agencies such as the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to start working towards obviating dangerous aftermaths of floods in the city. It is not about sharing blankets, rice and sugar but ensuring that the drainages are cleared of obstructions.

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com

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