Residents of Accra, especially in low-laying areas, have breathed a sigh of relief as the rains, with its accompanying flooding have gone on what seems a temporal break.
The rains and floods when going on the temporal break, took along the public uproar, media noise and righteous public anger that enveloped the country less than a week ago when the floods were in full swing and causing havoc.
As has become the usual attitude, our attention would shift to other matters until the next floods then we would suddenly spring out of our slumber and start yelling one more time about the causes of the annual flooding and how to prevent them.
We never seem to learn. We never seem to be proactive in problem prevention, problem solving and problem management. We are more interested in the talk, blame-games and trading of counter accusations rather than embarking on a concerted and sustained effort to tackle the cause of the difficulty from its roots.
In the thick of the crisis and public uproar, the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, issued a directive which when carried out, would be a solution to one of the main causes of the flooding – building in water ways.
The President, in lucid language, gave a direct order to all Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the Greater Accra Region to demolish all structures that cause flooding in the city.
He directed the MMDCEs to as a matter of urgency, immediately pull down all such structures to reduce the occurrence of flooding in Accra.
“MMDCEs have been charged to ensure that obstructions to the free flow of water as well as developments on waterways are removed immediately. MMDAs are also to ensure the strict adherence to developments in the planning laws of the country and sanction staff who issue permits for structures to be put on waterways to serve as a deterrent for those who engage in such acts”, Presient Akufo-Addo ordered.
A week after the Presidential Order, the MMDCEs are yet to comply. They are most likely to NEVER comply. The buildings erected on water ways are still in place. Some have building permits from the same MMDCEs.
The shameful attitude of dumping refuse into open gutters has not stopped. Very few persons or absolutely no one has been arrested for such offences and used as a scapegoat in recent times.
While Dredge Masters Limited (DML) has commenced the dredging of the Odaw River and other large water bodies so as to ease the free flow of water to prevent flooding, the very factors for which the drains get choked are still ongoing unabated.
Meanwhile as a people, we have returned to our default setting and our attitude has been ‘business as usual’. We would continue to do the same wrong things the same usual wrong way until the next rains yet we expect to get a different outcome from what we have had over the years.
When the floods come again, and they surely would, we would start to hop around all over the place, professing what the solutions should be.
When the floods come again, the book-long experts would be on radio and television explaining anti-flood theories and twisting their tongues with academic jargons. The politicians would show sympathy, they claim it is genuine sympathy, and make pledges, then we all go back to sleep after the floods.
We are indeed the actual cause of our own problems; but we can be the solution as well if we really intend to.