Aviation Meteorology Inspector at the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Dr. Steve Nyarkotey Quao has warned that most cities across the country would in the coming weeks experience heavy rains accompanied by strong winds.
According to him, the eastern parts of the country may record the highest rainfall, as series of clouds continue to build up in the sea due to changes in temperature and humidity (monsoon) over the land.
The monsoon of western Sub-Saharan Africa is the result of the seasonal shifts of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ICZ) and the great seasonal temperature and humidity differences between the Sahara and the equatorial Atlantic Ocean.
It migrates northward from the equatorial Atlantic in February, reaches western Africa on June 22, then moves back to the south by October.
Monsoon Came Early
In Ghana, the monsoons may have arrived earlier as on Monday evening, thunderstorms doused the city of Accra and other cities with heavy rains causing some loss of lives.
Some low-lying areas took a hit, with homes and commercial establishments heavily flooded. The rains got dozens of vehicles stuck in floodwaters with motorist stranded.
In Accra, over 40 millimetres (mm) of rains was recorded―causing water levels to rise above the knee level after the downpour.
Speaking on Joy FM, Dr. Nyarkotey Quao said “The volume is very, very high,” adding that the flooding may also be caused by behavioural attitudes of residents.
“So many gutters are choked…we have all these problems surrounding the coastal belt so definitely we are going to experience some of these things if we don’t put our house in order,” he advised.
Incompetence Par Excellence?
But monsoon or not, the hope that we would one day see a Ghana free from the bane that comes with heavy rains, splits before our very eyes.
The degree of destruction did not just show just how punishing Mother Nature could be but also exposed how much governments past and present may have failed in ensuring that Ghanaians are safe even at the presence of the Petrichor―the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.
Some residents in affected areas are demanding action from government.
The Publisher on Tuesday, monitored the trails of destructions left by the downpour on social media.
A facebook user, Komla Adom said “A friend and scores of neighbours at Malejor on the Adenta Dodowa road are equally helpless now. All out of their homes watching flood waters race through their homes. Lend a hand if you can.”
Broadcast Journalist, Johnnie Beresford Hughes, had rushed out at about 11:00am to assess the situations at Kaneshie and its neighbouring communities.
His response: “I didn’t see a single NADMO person doing same. National Disaster Management indeed!”
For Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah who was driving during the downpour, it was a safer bargain to park the vehicle and find a safe place to perch.
“Many major roads in Accra heavily flooded. I have had to change routes four times and still no hope. Front bumper damaged. Number plate missing. I see many cars submerged in water around Abbosey Okai and beyond,” he reports.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah advised residents in flood prone areas to move to higher grounds.
According to him NADMO officials were currently on the move to provide first aid relieve to affected victims.
“We continue to ensure that we clear the silt which sometimes choke the drains. We are constructing some of the storm drains as well…if it happens to be a natural disaster, we should also adhere to the advice that we give them, that move away from the location where you realise its getting flooded and don’t scramble for your property. Your life matters most.”
The Greater Accra Minister, Ishmael Ashitey has also indicated that all buildings on water ways would be demolished.
According to him, an order from his Office has been issued per existing bylaws to bring down buildings without permit.
“We have our own bylaws and if we are able to implement what is in the bylaws, I think some of these things would be resolved…I will insist that all buildings on water ways should be removes as quickly as possible,” he said.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ email@example.com