Hard decisions will solve many problems
For the umpteenth time, the Daily Graphic has had to return to the issue of floods and the mayhem they have caused to families and the country in general.
It is all too common to hear death and destruction resulting from floods during the rainy season. The number of people who have perished over the years is an issue that has been over-flogged, to say the least.
In our report on June 5, 2015 we described vividly how flooding, resulting from torrential rains, brought Accra to its knees, with unimaginable loss of lives and destruction of properties.
More than 150 people perished in that disaster, which was exacerbated by an inferno at a fuel station. The number was staggering. It was the first in the country’s history. The scars are still fresh in the memory of those who suffered burns and family members of those who died.
Our hospitals were choked and struggled to contain the numbers. It was a real expression of Armageddon, as badly burnt bodies were scattered over what remained of the fuel station, as fire and rescue crews battled fruitlessly to save lives.
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Many of the burnt bodies could not be identified, as experts said identification of such bodies could only be done through DNA.
Ghana was brought to its knees. That disaster was certainly the worst ever experienced in the history of the country.
As if we were possessed then, all of a sudden we discovered all the causes and solutions to floods. We were overtaken by a certain powerful force to put measures in place to curtail once and for all the flooding menace.
Government officials promised an end to these senseless floods that have caused the country so much pain in terms of material and human resource.
But, sadly, the floods came in 2016; they occurred in 2017; people suffered from them in 2018 and here we are in 2019 ruing our losses. It is as if we were not created as a country to solve our problems ourselves.
At least 10 people have reportedly lost their lives so far to floods this year. Sadly, flooding seems to have become cyclical.
It is as if we were created to prescribe solutions to challenges and that should be it. For how long should we continue to suffer from the same problem while we stand aloof and watch?
Once again, our airwaves are inundated with discussions of how to deal with the floods; a recycle of what has been said over the years. We are not saying anything new; rather, we have not done something right.
The Daily Graphic says with equivocation that both the rulers and the ruled have disappointed the nation. Governments have, over the years, backtracked on some of the hard decisions that they must take to reduce to the barest minimum the effects of floods.
How many of us do not know that throwing waste into drains and building on water courses are major causes of floods? How many of us are unaware that using concrete to build walls and pave compounds prevents running water from sinking into the soil, only for it to force its way into areas it can?
As usual the government has made available GHc197 million to deal with floods, as announced by the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources. We commend the government for the effort, but we do not think that will solve the problem of flooding in its entirety.
We all need to change our attitude, both the government and the governed; that is where the solution lies.
Need we say more?