Opinion

When negligence takes the best of us

Wednesday, June 3, was a sad day for all Ghanaians especially people who lost relatives and loved ones. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased.

I understand the President has declared three days of national mourning, beginning Monday, the 8th of June. I trust that the days will be used to deeply reflect on the sad event which befell us as a people so as to find out what we did wrong and what we can do right in order to forestall such great loss in the future.

Never again should such a calamity befall us, never again should we catch the attention of the international media for such an infamous reason.   

Martin Luther (1483- 1546) said it well, “You cannot stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop that bird from building a nest in your hair.”  We cannot stop the rains from visiting but we can prevent any disaster it might cause.

The joint force of the police, the military and the fire fighters did a great job salvaging properties. They descended into the drains to bring up floating mattresses, TV sets among others. In fact watching them made me force a smile even in that sorrowful moment.  Those personnel deserve commendation.

I hear Becca is planning to organize other celebs to raise funds for the victims, Kudos to her. God bless her effort.

 I cannot agree more with President Mahama when he says our attitudes as a people over the years have been like that of the proverbial vulture. The only time we resolve to do what is right is when we are in distress and when the pains subside, we completely forget to address the cause of the pains.

This disaster has revealed a lot about the kind of leaders we have in this country.

The political leaders we have in this country are best at taking reactionary measures instead of preventive ones.  For me, they defy that quality of a leader which says that “leaders must look into the future and anticipate challenges and provide means of combating them”. 

I tell you what, the best time in this country that building regulations were enforced was the week after the Melcom disaster. After that week the authorities went back to sleep.

I read on one of the online news sources that the Odaw River is being distilled. I also read that some houses in water ways are being demolished. The questions that immediately jumped at me were;

Why is the Odaw River being desilted now?

Hasn’t the water become stagnant all these years?

Those who ordered the demolishing of the houses, when did they notice that the houses were in water ways?

Where were they when the houses started springing up?

My point is, if these leaders had been a little preventive in their approach, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

See, the government has done well releasing 50million Cedis to the victims of the flood but it can never commensurate the loss these people and the country at large has suffered.

Talking about political leaders, did you see the pictures of President Obama and Queen Elizabeth holding their own umbrellas in the snow/rain and the mayor of mayors having a police officer carrying his umbrella?

The most heartbreaking moment came when I saw several bodies loaded in a truck. I was sad seeing the bodies but again I was even sadder seeing how they were carelessly packed in the truck. Couldn’t these bodies have been treated in a more dignified manner? In other countries, the bodies would have been kept in body bags and carefully packed in Ambulances. Again the rains have revealed our unpreparedness to handle disaster of such magnitude.

May we in these days of mourning reflect on all that has happened and vow to do our bid to ensure that never again should such calamity befall Ghana.

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