Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George

Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram Constituency, Sam George, has admitted that politicians in the country have failed to demonstrate the needed will to fight the issue of flooding in the country.

He says both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lack the commitment to confront the menace aggressively.

Sam George has blamed the problem on the frequent politicisation of flooding issues by the two leading political parties, a development he has described as worrying and unfortunate.

"What we need requires the kind of political will that doesn’t exist in any of the two leading political parties in Ghana. The lives that get lost hold the two leading political parties to ransom [even] when we want to take the actions that will save them.

"The actions that require to be taken are quite draconian, including breaking down houses in waterways, and breaking down houses that are causing this flooding," he stated.

Speaking to Benjamin Akakpo on Prime Morning on the Joy Prime channel, the lawmaker revealed that most political actors refuse to punish offenders and persons whose acts cause flooding because they fear losing elections.

He added that politicians do not live in flood-prone areas so they hardly feel the impact of the menace.

"Even when you want to take action, you get called by other political actors saying this person is our friend; politicians are built for the next election and so if the people are going to use the next election as a bargaining chip to hold our hands, we will lean back."

"I’m being brutally frank. Ask yourself how many of these areas that really flood do you see the top elite of our country living there? They hardly live there, they don’t feel it: it’s your problem, we want to help you fix it and you’re gonna hold us to ransom, I’ll leave you where you are, that’s the reality," Sam George confessed.

He underscored that most individuals who build on waterways get permission from top government officials, hence, making it difficult to take any action against them.

"It's expensive to build in waterways. We are the problem because the DCE, MCE, or the government official is going to look at having to break down a one-million-dollar house and is afraid of the kind of push-back [he or she will face]," he added.

The drainage system

Sam George stated that the country, for more than sixty (60) years, has failed to strategically plan its drainage system to avert flooding.

He said the quest to develop the country has led to a lack of proper planning, thus, causing the perennial flooding the country witnesses almost every rainy season.

"We have failed to plan; we allow development precede planning so you realise that people are moving into particular areas and it’s a fight I have with a lot of real-estate developers in my constituency. They sell the land to ordinary Ghanaians and say that they’re selling serviced plots and Ghanaians buy those lands as serviced plots.

"When we say a plot is serviced, it must have drains, it must have electricity, it must have water, it must have roads; none of those things exist so you see that people just go and build without reference to drains, without defined road lines and when it rains, you have the problems we have," he scored.

What should be the way forward?

The Ningo-Prampram MP suggested that politicians in the country take another look at their approach to dealing with flooding in the country.

He recounted that the issue of flooding should not be seen as a problem in Greater Accra alone but rather a national crisis that needs urgent attention.

"It’s one thing to push, it’s another thing for us to get the buy-in of the populace. The current minister for the Greater Accra Region, Henry Quartey has started a number of activities. Have you seen any political twist from the NDC on it? I’ve told my caucus that we should not play politics with this; let’s change our approach, let’s look at the practicality of what he’s doing and that’s why you realise that this time around we are backing him.

"Typically, when the government starts such activity, you realize that the opposition elements make it political. For several times we tried it under Prof. Mills, under President Mahama and there was active involvement of NPP elements and it affected all of us," he lamented.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.