A former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute is blaming Wednesday’s twin fire and flood disaster which claimed over 150 lives on the door step of the Accra Mayor- Alfred Oko Vanderpuije.
According to Gabby Asare Otchere Darko the tendency to always blame attitudinal behavior of Ghanaians for the floods provides a cheap escape route for those whose responsibility it is to ensure that floods do not happen and even if they do its impact would not be as disastrous as what happened on Wednesday night.
Chronicling the major floods that have hit Ghana in the past, the New Patriotic Party member said it was quite evident that the month of June is a flood prone month and authorities ought to have taken precautionary measures.
He said instead of planning and preparing for the floods, the Accra Mayor was busy receiving cheap honours and organising needless conferences in a city prone to floods and in a month susceptible floods.
“In June you ought to be focusing on desilting the gutters not to organise conferences,” he stated.
“Floods happen all the time because nobody takes responsibility for it,” he indicated, adding in France when a similar disastrous floods claimed hundreds of lives, the Mayor was jailed for four years; in Brazil, in Russia the Mayors were sacked for a similar disaster but what do we see in Ghana? Our Mayor will come and speak and give empty assurances.
“It is more a matter of failed leadership than attitude,” he argued. In any case whose responsibility it is to shape the attitudes of the people? he asked.
“The people of UK are no more responsible than what the leadership pushes them to be. The people of Singapore are no more responsible than what the leadership pushes them to be.
“We miss it when we talk about attitude of Ghanaians,” he added.
In 2012 when a similar flood occurred in Ghana, president John Mahama cut the sod for the building of a better drainage system which would ensure that the impact of floods are brought to a minimal level.
Six months after the sod was cut, Asare Otchere Darko read a report in which the president was directing the Finance Minister to release funds for the construction of the drainage system.
What happened to that directive. Why did it take six months after the sod was cut for the president to issue that directive. Were the funds released by the Finance Minister, Asare Otchere asked.
Editor-in-Chief of the Crusading Guide newspaper Kweku Baako Jnr was convinced leadership had to take a bigger chunk of the responsibility but was quick to add that poor attitude from Ghanaians was also to blame for the disaster.
He also questioned what happened to the loan approved by Parliament which was meant to construct the drainage system in Accra.
He said government was unable to access the loan, it should have informed Ghanaisns about it than to keep quiet for another floods to hit the capital.
A heavy rainstorm in Accra on Wednesday night left Accra submerged and left in its wake a disaster of great proportions. In a midst of the floods came an even more disastrous fire incident at the Goil Filling station at Circle in Accra which claimed many lives as well.
The president has announced three days of mourning in memory of the departed souls and has provided 50 million cedis to help the disaster victims.
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