The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has expressed worry over the “the extensive structural development” on wetlands and waterways in the country.
The situation, it said, is a major reason for the perennial flooding witnessed in various parts of the country and cautioned the public to desist from such practices.
It recommended that some structures be demolished to remedy the situation to save lives and properties “because we have an unpredictable weather pattern now, we have to be pre-emptive enough to ensure that we do not experience frequent floods to save properties and lives”.
DCFO Semekor Fiadzo, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer in Charge of Rural Fire, expressed these concerns when the Service in collaboration with NADMO went on a field assessment tour to inspect some flood-prone areas in the Cape Coast Metropolis and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo- Abrem (KEEA) Municipality on Wednesday.
Some of the places visited were Adisadel, Abura, Eyifua, Amamoma in the Metropolis and Bronyibima, a suburb of Elmina.
The purpose of the tour was for the Rural Fire Director to receive first-hand information on issues on the ground for all stakeholders to devise best measures for swift prevention as well as intervention during floods.
DCFO Fiadzor urged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to put in place mitigating measures even if it would involve demolition exercises.
He urged the media to assist in educating the public on the need to desist from activities that would cause flooding.
At Adisadel, it was observed that the stretch from “Becky Kay” restaurant to the Anglican Basic school which used to be a wetland has been filled and developed with a narrow culvert that could not contain the flow of flood waters thereby causing flooding anytime it rained.
Mr James Appiah-Mensah, Central Regional Director of NADMO, urged the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) to put in place large permanent concrete culvert on that stretch to safeguard human lives.
As part of strategies to save lives during flooding, ACFO Fanny Simpson, Central Region Fire Commander, said some selected officers have been trained to rescue with life jackets.