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Perennial floods, impact on citizens, economy

BY: Patrick Twumasi
File photo
File photo

The former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once said, "We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us”. The planning of our cities, including the national capital, has made the country prone to perennial flooding with a little or heavy downpours.

The constant flooding in cities and towns shows that plans are of little importance to us, but planning is essential.

Unfortunately, the planning has not been at the heart of efforts for years; however, we all expect transformation from the annual debilitating experience.

What we ought to know as a people in preventing flooding is to adopt action and stop the incessant talk.

Often, citizens affected call on authorities for help, however, some of them have stubbornly been living in these low-lying areas' or watercourses.

It is our attitude that has entrenched flooding and complicated any attempts at solving it permanently. It is believed that attitude is a little thing, but has the power to make a big difference.

The change in this annual deluge must emerge from our respect for laws, that prohibit buildings on water courses.

An astute scientist, Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

We continue to site buildings on watercourses, put up structures indiscriminately and turn drains for liquid waste into dustbins, clogging these drainage systems. Yet, we expect a different narrative after each downpour!

The desired change to prevent flooding is to muster the courage to stand up to our attitude.

Budget

Authorities should also do the needful and release the much-needed funds to change the tale of the deluge in parts of the country, especially the national capital.

Regrettably, the impact of flooding on companies in the South Industrial area in Accra is worrying. The companies operating within that space have their offices and showrooms flooded whenever there is a downpour.

The cost runs into millions of Ghana cedis, impacting negatively on their turnovers. If an urgent remedial strategy does not come up, the companies might be pushed out of the enclave, which will have a cascading effect on direct and indirect employment.

The impact on the country's economy will be devastating, if measures are not put in place to salvage the current flooding situation.

Curse?

It looks as if the perennial flooding has become a curse, with no means of appeasing the gods, and with the various assemblies seeming deficiency in law enforcement.

It has emboldened prospective homeowners to keep erecting illegal structures at places that impede the course of the flow of water. The city authorities should sit up.

As a nation, we need to take a critical look at the performance of the institutions mandated by the state to perform specific functions.

The issuing of building permits should be meticulous to prevent the siting of structures, either domestic or business in low-lying areas or watercourses.

State institutions charged with the responsibility to ensure flood areas are not inhabited should enforce the law to save lives and property.

Citizens with connections,must not be allowed to have their way to endanger the lives of the masses.

City authorities should take the bull by the horn and clear unauthorised structures without reservation, as the rains intensify.

We are the change needed to overcome this annual ritual of flooding, which impoverishes us by destroying our investments and killing our loved ones.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

The writer is Head, Public Relations, Complementary Education Agency (Ministry of Education). E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.