Drenched in rain, President John Dramani Mahama has charged the Meteorological Service to sharpen its skills to predict the weather better.
Suprised by sudden change in weather, the President pointed out at the Independence Square, “we must sharpen our ability to be able to better predict the behaviour of the weather in order to be able to adapt to it”.
President Mahama was speaking at the 57th Independence Anniversary Celebrations in Accra on Thursday, where heavy downpour caught the national excercise unprepared. Dignitaries sat uneasy, the rain poured unperturbed, leaking through several canopies.
The President sped through the inspection of the parade and lightening of the perpetual flame to limit the impact of the hammering rain as a colourful parade including school childen, stood soaked and uncertain about how long the downpour would last.
According to the President, although the Meteorological Department communicated the storm to the State Protocol, “it came a bit too late”.
Soaked in the rain, President Mahama described the day as the “most eventful independence day anniversary we have ever had”.
By the Ghanaian tradition, rain is symbolic, “when God brings down the rain [it signifies] showers of blessing”, he remarked.
It is a signal to us that God will “continue to bless Ghana and bless us to move to the next level”, he emphasized.
Ironically, the showers of blessing nearly marred the beautifully and colourfully planned event. Most of the activities were cut off from the celebrations.
For instance, the usual talking drum appellation was not observed, and school children were also spared the ordeal of weathering the stormy rain for hours – they were unceremoniously marched off the parade ground to warm themselves in the stand even after months of rehearsal for the day.
However, officers drawn from the security services stood throughout the downpour drenching their uniforms in the process.
President Mahama observed that the issue of climate change is clearly dawning on us, adding that it was not normal to have rainstorm in early March during harmattan.
“It means we must implement climate change adaptability so that we will be able to predict the weather.”
This year’s Independence Day celebration is on the theme, “Building a Better and Prosperous Ghana through Patriotism and National Unity”.
Meanwhile, Weather Officer Richard Agyemang has told Joy News the Meteorological Service had issued an alert early this week about potential rains today and tomorrow.
He therefore described as "baseless" claims that they did not give prior information about the weather condition and therefore did not do their work well.