The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has absolved itself of any blame following the devastating Thursday’s floods that led to the death of four persons and displaced hundreds of residents.
City authorities say they do not owe a sole responsibility of keeping the city clean and safe but indicate that it is a shared responsibility describing the disaster as a lesson to all.“All that I can say is that, after this discussion, everybody must learn a lesson from what has happened though it painful”. Mr. Alexader Nimako Environmental Health Promotion Officer of KMA said this in an interview with Oyerepa FM monitored by MyNewsGh.com in Kumasi.
The Ghana National Fire Service in the region revealed it rescued more than 240 people at death points during the flooding.
The rainfall which lasted several hours resulted in flooding in areas including Anloga, Sawaba, Alabar, Aboabo, Kwadaso, Tafo, Sepe Boukrom and other areas within the Kumasi metropolis but authorities say residents are to blame.
“Almost 90% people living around drainage systems dump refuse in them,” Mr. Nimako said, adding that, people have adopted a new strategy of dumping refuse at night to prevent authorities from seeing them.
“We plead with you, drains are not meant to dump refuse in them,” he stressed.
He further attributed the lackadaisical attitude of people of Kumasi as the main reason the city got flooded taking away lives, destroying properties and displacing others as well.
Meanwhile, experts in the city have made bare that building on waterways is also a major contributory factor to of flooding in the city. Yet Mr. Nimako never mention of it in his interview blaming citizens the most.
In Kumasi, the practice is very common especially siting of a fuel station on waterways.
The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in the region has frequently complained about the indiscriminate disposal of refuse within the city.
However, the sole responsibility to stop people from building on waterway resides with the assembly.
KMA this year launched a program, “Keep the City Clean and Green (KCCG)” which aims at making the city safe and bringing back the “Garden City” which it enjoyed decades ago.
However, people have complained they have not seen a massive decongestion of buildings on waterways.
But, Mr. Nimako during his 17-minute interview indicated that, the work of the assembly cannot be successful if citizens do not participate in the campaign and also report offenders to authority.
He also claimed it has become difficult for the authorities to prosecute offenders because people have refused to help make arrests.