Accra’s poor planning was exposed Thursday when a deluge hit the national capital after more than 10 hours of downpour.
The heavy rains caused flooding in the city and its environs, including Adabraka, Awoshie, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Mallam, North Kaneshie, Abeka, Dansoman and Odorkor.
Major drains overflowed their banks, while the Odaw River brought out all the garbage, including plastic and e-waste, dumped into it.
The floods caused traffic to come to a standstill on most of the major roads, compelling commuters to walk to their destinations.
Incidentally, the downpour, with its associated flooding and effects, coincided with the World Environmental Day when the whole world is sensitised to respect the environment. Effects of the flood
The heavy downpour, which started early yesterday, brought many activities to a halt and destroyed properties, including vehicles, buildings, schools, among other infrastructure.
Parts of the city were submerged in water during the downpour, while a number of streets were rendered unmotorable.
The Railway Quarters along the Graphic Road were flooded and their occupants had to be evacuated.
Residents along the Odaw Drain at Adabraka were seen scooping water from their homes with buckets, bowls and other containers, while others used mechanised water tankers to spill the water from their compounds.
There was heavy traffic on the Graphic Road, as the workers of some of the companies along the stretch, notably Toyota Ghana and KIA Motors Ghana Limited, conscious of past experiences with floods, parked their vehicles on the shoulders of the road.
The road itself was flooded, compelling drivers to park their vehicles to prevent them from being swept away by the surging flood waters.
Several fence walls were broken down, houses were flooded, cars were overturned and trapped, among other effects of the day’s downpour. Victims lose hope
Most of the affected people refused to talk to the Daily Graphic, saying in the past the media had reported the plight of victims of the annual flooding but nothing had come out of it.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, some victims said there was no need to call on the city authorities for help because they had done that over the years but had not received any help.
Some of them said they had accepted their fate and believed that one day good management of the city would change the situation.
Contrary to the directive by a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, instructing MMDAS to cover open drains prior to the rainy season, the Daily Graphic observed that most drains remained uncovered.
Most of the open drains were choked, hindering the free flow of rainwater and forcing the water to find its way through homes and other infrastructure. Accra’s problem
Accra is sited on a low-lying area, for which reason it experiences flooding every rainy season, mainly as a result of the haphazard construction of houses, especially on watercourses, poor drainage and a poor waste management system that chokes the drains with refuse.
Efforts by the city authorities to check the situation continue to be undermined by recalcitrant residents and the weak enforcement of bye-laws.
In 2011, floods resulted in the death of more than 30 people nationwide, with 15 in Accra, in addition to the destruction of properties running into millions of cedis.
Similar incidents were recorded in 1995, 1997, 2001, 2010 and 2011. Early signs ignored
A couple of months ago, the early rains, which came unexpectedly, resulted in flooding in various parts of the country.
Affected areas in Accra included the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Darkuman, Kokompe, the Obetsebi-Lamptey Circle, portions of the Graphic Road, Santa Maria, Dansoman and Awoshie, just to mention a few.
In a related development, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) said it received distressed calls from Teshie-Nungua, Pigfarm, Dansoman, Odorkor, Kaneshie, North Kaneshie, Abeka, and Mallam Junction, all in Accra and disptached its search and rescue team to those areas to provide the necessary assistance, reports Mark-Anthony Vinorkor.
A Public Information Officer of the NADMO told the Daily Graphic that the team stormed those areas with water pumping machines, life jackets, ropes, hammer and chisel and demolished structures on water courses where necessary.
The officer said some walls were also pulled down to allow free flow of water.
The officer said the NADMO personnel would be in the distressed areas until the problem subsided.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Meteorological Services Agency (GMSA) says the heavy rainfall experienced yesterday occurred mainly in the coastal areas of the country.
According to an official of the Forecast Office of the GMSA, as at 9am, Half Assini had recorded 265.4 millimetres, the highest in the country.
Ada recorded the second highest figure with 109.9 millimetres.
The rest are Takoradi,106.5 millimetres as at 9am; Saltpond, 98.1 millimetres; Accra Airport, 88.9 millimetres, Tema, 84.2 millimetres; Koforidua, 68 millimetres; Ho, 24.3 millimetres; Wa, 20.1 millimetres; Akatsi, 13.2 millimetres and Kumasi, 10 millimetres.
The officials said there was likely to be a short break in the rain today but urged all Ghanaians to expect another possible ‘trigger’ on Saturday.
He said the rains would be frequent every other day and could be experienced mostly three times in a week.
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