The National Democratic Congress (NDC) criticized President Nana Akufo-Addo over the recent flooding in Ghana’s capital, Accra.
The party in a statement said, “the crass incompetence, ineptitude and the cluelessness of the Akufo-Addo government is what has led the nation into this particular quagmire.”
It added that while the John Mahama government worked to ensure that the Odaw is desilted during the dry season to avert such flooding, Akufo-Addo government has failed in undertaking such an exercise.
“The Mahama government consistently undertook annual de-silting of the Odaw and Korle in order to minimize the rate, and mitigate the effect of flooding in Accra. Unfortunately, the Akufo-Addo-led government hasn’t shown much commitment to this program in the last two years.”
The NDC’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi who signed the statement said the government “sat aloof during the dry season” despite warnings from various stakeholders including the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah that the city did not have the capacity to contain the rains if urgent actions are not taken.
The National Disaster Management Organizations (NADMO) has confirmed the death of three persons after a downpour on Wednesday afternoon in Accra.
The deaths and loss of properties from flooding in is not new Ghana as it has been the situation for several years.
Successive governments have spent several millions of cedis in an attempt to address the problem but there has been no significant improvement in the situation.
The most popular forms of interventions undertaken by governments including the Akufo-Addo government has been to dredge the Odaw river which has been constrained as a drain.
However anytime it rains, the it overflows the, destroying settlements along the banks.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Meteorological Agency has announced that a fully-funded project by the World Bank is in the offing to address the engineering shortfalls in Accra’s drainage system which causes perennial floods in the city.
The Head of forecasting at the Agency, Joseph Portuphy who made this known on the Point of View program.
But some environmentalists have called on the government to enforce laws such as those that punishes people for littering and dumping waste in water bodies, building along the river banks and building in water ways rather than the continuous expenditure of money when there is no positive result.
Read the full statement below:
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) notes with much distress recent cases of flooding in Accra which has destroyed hundreds of homes, displaced many people and claimed six (6) precious lives over the last two (2) months.
Our deepest commiserations go to all the flood victims. It is our hope that government will urgently come to their aid and provide them with adequate disaster relief assistance to ameliorate their suffering.
Even though flooding is not a new phenomenon in Accra, we are deeply alarmed at the current spate of flooding given the fact that, we are yet to experience the peak rainfall season for this year.
If many parts of Accra are currently submerged in flood waters as a result of the 45-minutes light rainfall recorded yesterday, then what will befall the nation in the event of heavy torrential rains, which are normally recorded between the months of June to July every year?
Clearly, a major flood disaster is looming large upon us, and the impact may be very catastrophic for the people of Accra; if urgent action is not taken.
It is sad to note that, the crass incompetence, ineptitude and the cluelessness of the Akufo-Addo government is what has led the nation into this particular quagmire. The failure of the Akufo-Addo government to desilt the Odaw River, the Korle Lagoon and the several primary and secondary drains in Accra during the dry season, is the major reason for the current looming disaster. This explains why many non-flood-prone areas are currently being flooded for the first time.
It is our considered view that the nation could have minimized the incidence and impact of this year’s floods if the Akufo-Addo government had been proactive and continued the desilting works and projects commenced by the erstwhile Mahama administration, which were intended to significantly deal with perennial floods in Accra.
The Mahama government consistently undertook annual de-silting of the Odaw and Korle in order to minimize the rate, and mitigate the effect of flooding in Accra. Unfortunately, the Akufo-Addo-led government hasn’t shown much commitment to this program in the last two years.
Even though Accra was able to ride the flood storm in 2017 and 2018 due to previous works done by the Mahama government, Akufo-Addo’s inertia and incompetence have finally caught up with him.
It goes without saying, that the increased and widespread floods we are currently experiencing are largely as a result of dereliction of duty and the leadership paralysis Ghanaians are facing under the Akufo-Addo government.
Therefore, this government cannot make any excuses for their failure to address this problem because they have always had foreknowledge of the fact that the capital city is not ready for heavy rains this year. The foreknowledge was even amplified in an interview on Star Fm on 24th March, 2019, when the Accra Mayor, Mohammed Adjei Sowah disclosed that, the capital will not be able to protect lives and property when the rainy season kicks in.
Sadly, however, the government ignored this warning signal too and sat aloof during the dry season (January-April 2019) for us to get here.
Had the government been a little proactive, we would have minimized the rate of floods significantly this year. Unfortunately, the authorities went to sleep, hence our present predicament, which is very likely to intensify in the coming weeks as the heavy rains set in.
We were told by the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea in May this year that, Government has committed an amount of GH¢200 million to be used for desilting/excavation and construction works under the National Emergency Flood Control Program to address the perennial flooding challenge across the country.
Also in April this year, we were told by the Minister for Water and Sanitation, Hon. Cecilia Dapaah that, Government has allotted Ghc197 million for the desilting of choked drains and other drainage works in the country. Yet, there is no value to show for all those supposed expenditures. This is what happens when you have a government that talks so much and yet delivers very little.
Finally, even though it is too late in the day for significant measures to be put in place to salvage the situation, we suggest that government intensifies education on how people can avoid flood areas, and adopt other safety measures. As a matter of urgency, Government must put in place emergency relief and disaster management measures to minimize the impact of the disaster that awaits us.
Under the current helpless circumstances, we think that the continuous stay in office of government officials entrusted with the responsibility of addressing this issue is untenable. Hence, the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea and the Minister for Water and Sanitation, Hon. Cecilia Dapaah should resign from office or be sacked. They have failed the nation and proven to be grossly incompetent and unfit for the high offices they occupy.
President Akufo-Addo must wake up and act now before more lives are lost in the coming days.