A water drain, or what has become commonly known as storm drain, is designed to drain excess rain and ground water from impermeable surfaces such as footpaths, car parks and sidewalks.
It is typically located within curbs.
It is important to note that anything poured down the water drain ends up in a local water source, which means that whatever goes into the storm drain is exactly what enters the water source at the other end.
Therefore, citizens are entreated to avoid pouring all manner of liquids, especially unwholesome liquids or chemicals, into the drains. And to reinforce this, the drains are covered.
Consequently, the authorities are encouraged to ensure that new drains that are constructed are covered.
The cover provided also prevents the occurrence of accidents, as many vehicles and people have fallen into these open drains, resulting in damage to the vehicles and injury, at times very severe, to people.
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It is for these reasons that the Daily Graphic expresses concern about drains that are left uncovered, posing danger to motorists and pedestrians.
We appreciate the efforts by the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) and the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to ensure that drains that are being constructed, as well as some old ones, are covered, though a sizeable number of them remain open.
Aside from the drains that are left open, perhaps because of construction specification, there are others that are open because some unpatriotic elements within society decided to remove the covers for their own selfish use.
One wonders where love for country has evaporated to.
It is interesting because the stolen covers have ready buyers who are prepared to help perpetrate crime, not minding the consequences that their action has on the larger society.
When the covers are removed, it is the vulnerable, such as the physically challenged, women and children, who bear the greatest brunt of the repercussions.
Many people, mainly these classes of persons, have got drowned because flood waters had covered the open drains.
What makes the situation very worrisome is that these uncovered drains are mainly found in the pathway of pedestrians and cyclists.
Coupled with the danger posed by uncovered drains is the absence of street lights, leaving people who walk along our streets in the night at the mercy of nature for protection.
In many parts of Accra, such as the Central Business District, Nima and Dome, uncovered drains and piercing exposed iron rods are waiting perilously to strike on any next victim.
Something quick really needs to be done. The police must devise a strategy that will ensure that hoodlums and bad lots who steal these covers are made to face the full rigours of the law.
We know the police are more than capable in tackling this head-on.
We also ask the Roads Ministry, the GHA, the DUR, among other agencies, to ensure that new drains constructed are covered, while covers that have either been removed/stolen or worn out are replaced.
It is also time the country invested in the installation of CCTV cameras across our towns and cities, as is the case in other jurisdictions, to track these thieves to reduce their activities.
We believe everybody has a role to play and we should do that for the benefit of all.