The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) has given indications that major cities in Ghana such as Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi and Tema, have lost the ability to withstand heavy rains.

According to Joseph Portuphy, the Head of forecasting at GMA, all kinds of structures have been built in water ways and on pavements in these cities, leaving very little spaces for vegetation.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Midday News, he explained that as the rains continue to fall, the little vegetation left cannot contain the water and thus needs other pathways to flow. He added that drainage systems which are to aid in free flow of water, have also been turned into refuse dumps.

“We’ve decided to pave everywhere. When you go to Kotoka International Airport, everywhere is paved, so when it rains around that area, the water must find somewhere to pass.”

“So when this happens, the resilient level of the city to withhold a lot of water has also reduced. Hence when you have three, four or five consecutive rains and the soil is saturated, then any additional rain will cause flooding,” he told Emefa Apawu, host of Midday News.

Mr Portuphy added that flooding “will always be with us [in the cities]” because of the super structures that we have in the cities.

This comes after some places in Kumasi recorded incidents of flooding following recent heavy rains.

At the newly-built Kejetia Market in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region, property running into thousands of cedis have been destroyed by flood after two hours of rainfall. 

A two-year-old boy, Mohammed Awal, who was carried away by floodwater at Sawaba in Kumasi, on Tuesday, has been found dead.

But for the timely intervention of rescuers, two occupants of a car would also have died in Thursday’s heavy rains. The Ashanti Regional capital has experienced two successive nights of heavy rains.

Mr Portuphy stated that in areas like Axim, where there is numerous vegetation, little to no flooding incidents are recorded.

“Because the whole place is vegetated, the water is able to percolate (drain) into the soil, and run into rivers and streams and get into the sea, so we have not heard of floods in that town.”

He added that people in the Northern belt will continue to experience rains till the end of October this year, while others along the coastal belt will have a dry spell between the end of July and August, 2021.

However, there will be some rain showers within the period which will kick off the rainy season in mid-September to November.