I admonish the nation not to be shy to declare a state of emergency over the heavy hands of Zeus, the god of the sky, rain and thunder, over our nation.
According to Greek mythology, Zeus was the most powerful of all the gods. He overthrew his father to occupy this position. The health of the earth depended largely on his mood. When he was happy, he blessed the earth with gentle drops, but when in his melancholic state, he cursed the earth with violent drops, dark clouds and ferocious thunders
Zeus reigns over our country, and his rule is even more devastating than ever. But we are to blame solely.
Rains are blessings, either heavy or gentle, our vegetation and farmers rejoice the most because the land get cleansed of the many political sins, our gutters are desilted, winter comes to town and we have a bumper harvest. God Zeus does not shower on us mere curses, rather he curses us with blessings. So we must be ashamed for our inability to make lemonade out of lemons!
When the rains came down hard and mixed with Goil flames in June 3, 2015, over 150 Ghanaians lost their lives. Before that year, according to western media (who have always told our sad developmental story on our behalf), the days of 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2007, saw horrific scenes nationwide after both torrential and gentle drops, the least was 10 hours and the maximum was three days.
In 2001 for instance, local media reported that some residents in some parts of Madina, Achimota, Dzorwulu, Avenor, Santa Maria and Adabraka Official Town had no option than to climb trees in a rambo style to escape drowning.
In 2007, over 300,000 people in the Northern Region were not spared. From 2010 thereof, thousands of citizens were displaced every time it rained, millions of properties were destroyed and hundreds of dead bodies are retrieved after the blessings from the god of rain.
In 2017, among the many headlines resulting from the rain-curse, a fifty-nine-year-old woman on her way to pick up her child from school was carried away by the floods in the Northern Region. A year later, a thirty-two-year-old medical officer was among six others who got killed by the rain on Teshie road after a similar fall.
This year, Zeus’ supposed curse over our nation claimed the lives of five citizens, among them was a couple identified as members of the Ghana military, they skid off the road into a drain.
The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) try to mitigate the sufferings of the hundreds affected yearly by distributing items to affected homes and individuals. But gradually, this culture is becoming reactionary and an excuse to finding lasting solutions to the problem. More so, many affected people continue to fall out of this disaster emergency scheme bracket. In years past, the distribution became a politically discriminating exercise which, quite typical of anything in Ghana, recorded corrupt practices.
The emergence and sustenance of relief items by NADMO could be a short term measure to handling emergencies however it is gradually becoming an entrenched and excuse practice to facing the hardy issue, NADMO impact is close to nothing these families have lost as a result of our failure.
Efforts by AMA in making the city clean with proper drainage systems may be ongoing but painful to admit that these actions have not caught up to manifest visibly along the daily routes and alleyways we use every day.
Zeus has been a pain in the neck for many political leaders. No amount of national prayers have been able to arrest him, at least it has proven that it is not like the cedi which staggers year after year, and sometimes exposes you and sometimes wins you some cheap politics, when arrested.
Floods have always won the race against every president this country has experienced. Just like corruption, the issue of flood remains the major developmental issue in the Fourth Republic. I am yet to see frantic and drastic effort by any government to fighting the reign of Zeus over this nation. Until then, all five presidents experienced in the twenty-seven life time of this nation have failed!
Citizens are also chief culprits for the national crisis.
Either ways, dear Zeus, please spare us not till we solve the drainage system nationwide and maintain proper sanitation and tradition!
The Writer (Kabu Nartey) is a 2017 Kufuor Scholars Fellow. He is the 2018/2019 best graduating student in print journalism and the 2019 most promising journalist at GIJ.