Accra Floods: Who says we can’t build on waterways? 15th century solution won’t help – Baako

Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper says the demolishing of houses or properties on water ways will not necessarily solve Accra’s flooding problems.

He said a more comprehensive framework must be put in place to solve the problem.

Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ the veteran journalist said “let’s deal with the thing from the root; you cannot solve this in a year or two but once you put in the right personnel and resources even if it takes a decade it will be solved.”

He said engineering can ensure that houses are built on water ways without any problems.

“Who said we cannot build houses on water ways? It can be done. Some countries have built on rivers”, he said.

It is indeed worrying that Accra keeps flooding and this “shows the extent of our collective failure” but we must be very careful how we go about demolishing these houses. We should ensure that the properties being demolished indeed deserve to be before any such action is taken, he said.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly has begun the demolishing of houses and fuel stations on water ways following last Wednesday’s flood and fire disaster that swept away 150 lives and millions worth of properties in Accra.

Although the cause of the floods has been attributed to chocked gutters, experts have also said houses built on water ways prevented the flow of rain water into drains.

Mr Baako says governments have collectively failed to resolve the issue over the years and this current flood shows that “whatever we have done in the past 30 or 40 years has proved insufficient”.

“We have not over the years tackled the issues head-on and dealt with it once and for all”.

He also fears that the government risks being sued if the right processes are not followed though before properties are demolished.

“We should find solutions but it will take a lot of political will, strong and smart leadership but Accra needs to be redesigned, completely.”

“I am not an engineer but we need to be careful how we go about this demolition. If indeed petrol stations don’t have permits and don’t deserve to be there they should be dealt with, that is not so difficult.

“We have sat down and allowed these things to happen but some caution must be taken because demolishing can come with legal implications…either judgement debt or compensation”.

With incidences like this occurring in the past, Mr Baako says there are more risk-free steps that can be taken.

He also said notions that it was only poor people’s properties that are being demolished was “immaterial”.

“It is the legitimacy that we should be looking at. The question we need to ask is whether it is legal or not…not whether the property belongs to a poor or rich man.”

The deaths have caused a lot of pain but Mr Baako is advising the leaders to put emotions and pain aside because “leaders and engineers are not driven by pain, agony and emotions.”

“You need to reflect soberly so why do we want to take a 15th century solution when engineering can solve the problem”, he quizzed.

Story by Ghana | | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | [email protected]

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