The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sissala West, Mr Mohammed Adams Sukparu, has called for urgent interventions to reduce the devastating impact of floods in urban areas this year.
In line with that, he has suggested to Parliament for the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) to be well equipped with sophisticated equipment in order to allow the agency improve its weather forecast.
He also appealed to the Ministry of Works and Housing to put measures in place for the effective execution of duties by the town and country planning unit.
“Owners of buildings illegally constructed in water access ways must be brought to book. I further implore the Ministry of Roads and Highways to ensure standard layout of drainage works on all awarded road projects.
Presenting a statement on the state of flooding in urban Ghana on the floor of Parliament last Tuesday, Mr Sukparu said “I also extend this appeal to colleague members, religious bodies, public and private institutions to come on board to augment the efforts to reduce the occurrence of flooding in the country.”
Mr Sukparu noted that floods were a non-negotiable major deathtrap with impacts such as disruption of energy supply, communication, accommodation and transport amenities and possible interference in public service duties.
He said flooding had been witnessed in the urban parts of the country partly due to migration and improper planning.
“Mr Speaker, I believe we cannot be oblivious of the causes of flooding in Ghana. Studies by Y. A. Twumasi et al in 2002 revealed that flooding occurs as a result of intense and continuous rainfall, the growing unpredictability in rainfall patterns, impact of climate change, ignored flaws in the drainage network and poor physical planning and infrastructure development,” he said.
The MP also blamed increasing physical structures on water access ways coupled with lack of drainage systems on our roads as another major contributory factor flooding in the country.
He indicated that it was not surprising to see houses built in the middle of watercourses due to “absolute lack of enforcement of territorial layout plans.”
“Mr Speaker, on June 3, 2015, Ghana recorded one of the memorable but disturbing flooding incidents in its history. We all saw how most of southern suburbs of Ghana experienced heavy thunderstorms and rains.
“Ghana Meteorological Agency’s report showed that about 212.8 mm of rainfall was heavily centred in Accra which resulted in flooding most of the city. Adding to the pain was the explosion of a fuel filling station at Kwame Nkrumah
Circle, which claimed over 150 lives, coupled with the destruction of properties with hundreds of dwellers displaced,” he said.
“We must take urgent steps in anticipation of unexpected downpours,” he added.