The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) predicted and created awareness early this year, that the southern part of the country will experience more rains than were recorded within the same period last year.
Yet, a lot of Ghanaians turned a deaf ear to this important prediction. Many seem unconcerned and others are unprepared to desilt their gutters and clean their environment to allow the free flow of rains.
The GMA urged the public to take safety measures to minimise casualties during this year’s major rainy season.
The Senior Meteorologist, Mr. Michael Padi speaking with Ghanaweb.com, he cautioned people to be particularly careful when moving during a downpour as drains inundated, engendering difficulty in the determination of a safe area.
“It is best to find some near-by safe shelter, and wait for the floods to recede before moving,’’ he said.
Mr. Padi said the public must avoid seeking shelter under weak structures or underneath shady trees, because the rains would, typically, be accompanied by strong winds, which may put one at risk.
After all the several public education and awareness, it turned out that Ghanaians paid no heed to his cautionary measures.
Due to that, yesterday, the rains flooded many homes in areas such as Adabraka and surrounding communities, the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Kaneshie, Avenor, Alajo, Legon and Okponglo.
Even though the downpour was without the characteristic force that had occasioned many flood situations in the country, it rendered many streets impassable, leaving in its wake heaps of debris of mainly plastic materials as the waters forced their way through choked drains.
At the peak of the rainfall season, it accompanied strong winds and lightening, which could lead to localised floods and damage several properties including billboards.
A number of people have been reported dead since the onset of this year’s rains in Accra.
They comprise five persons who died in February this year following a rainstorm that hit Accra and other parts of the country.
In April last month, a joint team of police, military and Fire Service personnel retrieved the bodies of four persons, including a couple, both soldiers, after torrential rains which flooded a stretch of the Accra-Tema Motorway at Adjei-Kojo, near Ashaiman.
How long would we continue to lose innocent souls and allow the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) spend so much money on casualties among other things?
Human activities contribute 60 per cent to 70 per cent of floods in the country looking at the causes of flooding.
Hence, government could do everything needed to be done, spend billions of dollars in restructuring drains among other things but if the attitude of the Ghanaian does not change, all the efforts by the government would prove futile.
In Ghana, we do not have natural disasters, in terms of rains and all that, they are all manmade and human-made by virtue of our own attitude and the ways we do our things.
As a way to revert such consequences and damages, Ghanaians must do the needful and be conscious of keeping a clean environment.
Ghanaians must allot some time to desilt the gutters once every month and reprove anyone fond of littering the environment.
This, is a collective decision, therefore Ghanaians should help keep the environment clean to avoid subsequent flooding and its consequences.
Also, people who have the inclination of carrying certain activities in heavy rains such as walking, playing soccer, fetching water and the like in their vicinities must be extremely careful as such downpour could be deleterious to their lives.
Drivers must be extra careful when it rains because slippery roads make driving more dangerous and flooded roads make it difficult to tell where a huge gutter or drain is.
The best thing to do when it is raining heavily is to stop and take a shelter in the safest place available.
The media should intensify public education, to get the public informed about several disasters and safeguard lives.
Editor: Mr. Asare Baffour Kwabena