Written By David Owuse-Amoah - After a period of harsh hot weather condition in recent times, it should certainly be a sigh of relief for many with the onset of the rains. A favourable rainfall pattern is good for abundant food supply and water security for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes. Unfortunately when there is a period of torrential rainfall, it has its own attendant problems.
Heavy rainfall could even be a bad omen for the farmer who may have prayed for a favourable rainfall for his crops, since rainfall which comes with strong winds can sometimes destroy food crops. One havoc caused by rain that will forever remain indelible in the minds of many Ghanaians is the June 3rd 2015 disaster. What started like any other normal rain ended up leaving in its trail loss of more than 150 lives and the destruction of property worth millions of cedis. If the forecast given by weather experts on the volume of rainfall expected in Ghana this year is anything to go by then we owe it a duty as a Nation to be in readiness to prevent the rains from causing the perennial havoc once again.
In spite of the fact that we are still at the early period of the rains the signal in some parts of the country such as the destruction of facilities at Aduman Senior High School in the Ashanti Region by rains call for concern. Although some efforts have been made in the past to tackle this problem, it is obvious that these perennial problems associated with the rains still persist. It is unfortunate that we have time and time again behaved like the proverbial vulture that always remembers the need to put his house in order only when it is under the mercy of rainstorms.
One fundamental reason behind flooding during the rainy season is the building of structures along water ways which eventually impede water flow. Our poor drainage system can also not escape mentioning as a major cause of flooding. There is the need for pragmatic ways of managing waste to check perennial flooding problem. The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies together with the Town and Country Planning Department should take stringent measures to get rid of all unauthorized structures built especially on water ways. The national sanitation day instituted as a way of cleaning communities, desilting drains is indeed a step in the right direction and should be sustained with the seriousness it deserves. Another measure which ought to be considered is the need to recycle our plastic waste since recent findings indicate that plastics are the prime cause of choked drains.
The Media, the National Commission on Civic Education and all other stakeholders should not relent in their campaign for the public to desist from dumping refuse in gutters and other unapproved places. Harvesting rain water should also be given a serious thought as a strategy for curbing the excess water that leads to flooding. We should encourage the planting of trees to serve as wind brakes, against destruction of property during rainy season. The Public Works Department, the Town and Country Planning Department and the Building Inspectorate Committee of the Assemblies would also do the nation a great deal of service by ensuring that people do not build on water course for the sake of getting roofs over their head. The rain, like fire, can be a good servant but when not well managed can be a bad master.
BY: DAVID OWUSU-AMOAH, HEAD OF RESEARCH, INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT.
NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE NEED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES AT THE ONSET OF THE RAINS