First downpour in Accra exposes flood vulnerability
The first major rain in Accra for the year has caused some minimal flooding in parts of the city.Subscribe
The rain, which lasted more than three hours, left in its wake widespread silting in parts of the capital and moderate flooding in areas such as Odawna and Dansoman.
The mudslide, which usually cuts off parts of the Kasoa-Mallam road, did not disappoint, resulting in traffic congestion yesterday morning during the rush hours.
The Daily Graphic witnessed residents in Adabraka Official Town and parts of the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange cleaning the debris left in the wake of the rain and desilting some drains in anticipation of more rains.
Residents of Ottodor, near Dansoman, which was perhaps the most affected area, battled to salvage some of their belongings that had been trapped in the floodwaters hours after the rain had subsided.
Around 10 a.m., more than three hours after the rain subsided, the floodwaters had still not receded in the area.
Portions of the Achimota-Ofankor stretch of the Nsawam Road were flooded as well.
In areas such as Kaneshie, Graphic Road, STC, Odawna and the Adabraka enclave, running water had forced out all sorts of debris and silt, including plastic waste, onto the streets.
The rain exposed the clogged drains of Accra, with silt and debris blocking the gutters and leading to the potential of massive flooding.
Accra is home to over four million people, and the vast majority of them rely on the city’s drainage system for liquid waste disposal.
A large portion of the drainage system is overwhelmed and has become clogged with trash, debris and other pollutants.
The city of Accra has experienced many floods in recent years. In 2015, the city experienced its worst flooding in decades.
That incident caused massive damage to the city and its infrastructure, and cost lives and property.
The government said it was taking steps to mitigate the effects of flooding.
The steps include the expansion of the South Kaneshie storm drain and the desilting of the Odaw River storm drain to improve the city’s drainage systems, and the implementation of flood-control measures.
Despite these efforts, flooding in Accra continues to be a major problem as the city is particularly vulnerable to flooding due to its location in a coastal area and its lack of adequate drainage systems.
The heavy rains that occur during the wet season bring about excessive amounts of water from the mountainous areas such as Aburi and Abokobi, which descend downstream towards the sea, causing flooding and other related issues.
The Ghana Meteorological Agency yesterday forecasted localised thunderstorms, rain with intermittent sunny weather for the coastal areas of the country.
Aside from the northern part which has been forecasted to remain sunny and hazy, the rest of the country will experience early morning mist and fog, be partly cloudy, localised rains and thunderstorms, and sunny weather, the agency said in its weekly forecasts.