The Greater Accra branch of National Disaster Management Organisation has said it is employing desilting and public sensitization to manage the floods in parts of the capital.
According to Archibald Cobbinah, these are temporary measures aimed at managing the situation until the government is able to raise the needed resources to resettle persons living in flood-prone areas and to also engage in massive engineering works.
Mr Cobbinah was speaking on the back of Friday dawn’s torrential rainfall that submerged parts of Accra in water.
At the Accra-Kasoa highway, floods completely inundated the Accra-bound side of the dual carriageway, forcing motorists heading to Accra to drive on the opposite side of oncoming traffic.
According to Mr Cobbinah, the effect of Friday’s rain was not as devastating because NADMO had passed on an alert from the Accra Meteorological Agency to the public and also, because the rains came at a time most motorists were asleep.
NADMO is presently working with the police to manage the traffic congestion created in parts of the city as a result of the rains.
However, its operations team is on standby to respond to distress calls.
But addressing the fundamental causes of the perennial floods, the Greater Accra Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation said the problem is partly attitudinal.
According to him, the cities continue to flood because people litter indiscriminately and empty their bins in gutters and waterways especially when the rains come.
The President agrees with him.
“Beyond addressing issues of infrastructure, our attitudes towards sanitation have to change as well, in order to help tackle the problem of the perennial flooding of Accra. Every effort is being made by the public authorities to deal with this problem,” Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted on Tuesday.
While measures have been put in place to prosecute persons who engage in these practices, NADMO is engaged in community sensitization programmes aimed at informing residents on the negative effects of these attitudes.
That is not all.
NADMO is also engaged in desilting exercises in flood-prone areas like the Kasoa-Weija-McCarthy Hill enclaves.
The government has allotted ₵197 million for the desilting of choked drains and other drainage works in the country, Minister for Sanitation has said.
Addressing the press in a joint interaction between her Ministry and the Greater Accra Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Projects, Cecelia Dapaah said the contract for the works has already been awarded by the Ministry of Works and Housing, JoyNews’ Maxwell Agbagba reported.
But the NADMO boss says this is not an end in itself.
According to Mr Cobbinah, the government is raising the needed capital to resettle most of the residents who live in flood-prone areas so that it can demolish houses sitting on waterways.
But until that is done, the government will continue to manage the situation by desilting the drains.
Many residents around the Odawna River have been displaced