Koforidua grapples with annual flooding Residents panic when the clouds gather
Some few years ago, flooding was not part of the many challenges that residents and city authorities worried about
, however, there is widespread panic among residents and city authorities when the clouds gather, as flooding has become an annual affair in not just Koforidua but many other towns in the Eastern Region.The effects of climate change already so weather patterns have significantly been altered. Rains are severer and the sun more scorching.Many Ghanaians are used to expecting the rains between May and June but a Meteorological Service Authority prediction has indicated that the country should brace itself for more downpour in the part of this year.As an agrarian region, people in the Eastern Region should be jubilating over this news but that is not the case.City authorities of the Eastern Regional National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) are worried and so are residents, some of whom are always at the receiving end of flooding.Perhaps Koforidua is not ready for the rains. It has since 2012 experienced an annual onslaught of destruction as a result of flooding that sweep through the city.FloodsKoforidua, according to the Eastern Regional NADMO officer in charge of Operations, Mr Alfred Owiredu Agyemang, experienced its first flood in 2012. The floods have been more intense each year thereafter.Mr Agyemang said the town experienced flooding in all the years since 2012. In 2016 for instance, two people died in Koforidua during floods.Just recently, many parts of the growing municipality were severely flooded. There was no fatality. However, the extent of damage to properties was enormous. Vehicles, both private and commercial, were seen floating in the water around communities, including Abrewa Nkwanta and parts of .Other heavily affected areas included Nsukwao, where the Nsukwao River overflowed banks displacing hundreds of people who live in and around that part of Koforidua.Also affected were residents of Sentimental, Zongo, Musuko and Two Streams, all suburbs of Koforidua.Traders at the Central Business District (CBD) were not spared. The flood water virtually submerged the entire market, leaving items being sold, including even some in shops, floating freely in the runoffs.According to Mr Agyemang, 1,081 persons were affected in that single flood alone.Before then, there had been flooding on July 13, though less severe.According to Mr many of the victims lived downstream and close to major channels such as the Okumin River, Nsukwao River, Oyoko Stream and Asokorekuma Stream."All the houses along these river banks were affected.Other suburbs, including two streams, Acapulco, Sentimental, Musco were also not spared.
FactorsMany factors have been attributed to the annual ritual. Rising poor sanitation resulting in choked gutters, siting of buildings on water ways among others.Additionally, the capacity of primary drains, including the Okumin and Nsukwao, which carry run-offs into the Densu River is hugely hampered because sections have not been lined." The fact that some are lined and other portions are not is a problem because when it rains, silt is washed from the unlined portion to the lined thereby free flow of water", Mr Agyemang stated.