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15.11.2011 Politics

I'll Address Flood Problems - Ras Mubarak

By Kofi Yeboah - Daily Graphic
Ras Mubarak - NDC MP AspirantRas Mubarak - NDC MP Aspirant
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As the government and some residents of Accra search for ways to prevent the loss of lives emanating from the perennial flooding in the city, a young politician says he will address the problem by constructing large community swimming pools and offer swimming lessons to residents so that they can swim to safety in times of flooding.

Ras Mubarak, an outspoken member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), believes learning how to swim can save the lives of hundreds of residents of the Ablekuma North Constituency who suffer grave consequences, including death, in times of flood.

The 32-year-old broadcast journalist thinks it is better to do something under the circumstance to save one’s life in times of flood, rather than wait for long hours for the rescue mission by officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), which may not even come after all.

“We are all responsible for our safety. People living in flood-prone areas have to be prepared at all times,” he told the Daily Graphic on Monday as he launched his media campaign for his aspiration to win the Ablekuma North NDC parliamentary ticket.

He described as unrealistic the suggestion that people should not build in flood-prone areas, given the current huge housing deficit, and stressed the need to rather find ways of addressing the impact of flooding in those areas.

Asked how feasible his ideas were and whether such an initiative to deal with the consequences of flood was not the responsibility of the government, he said it was time people stopped relying on the government for everything and took charge of their own lives and development.

The strong desire to save the lives of residents in times of flood is one major factor driving the ambition of Ras Mubarak to secure the NDC parliamentary ticket for the Ablekuma North Constituency and eventually represent the constituents in Parliament in 2013.

He believes that neither the challenge posed by Nathaniel Addo, a former NDC Ablekuma North Constituency chairman, nor the incumbency advantage of Justice Joe Appiah, MP for Ablekuma North, nor the fact that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has held the seat over the past 16 years, can impede his journey to the Parliament House.

Articulating his campaign theme for the primaries and the parliamentary election in 2012, which is: “Responsibility from all, opportunity for all,” Ras Mubarak said he would empower the youth in the constituency and create job opportunities for them through vocational training.

He said he would institute a consultative forum during which the constituents would share ideas on how to address the problem of flooding and also raise funds to support relief initiatives.

Mr Mubarak said the NDC delegates were looking for a candidate who would wrest the parliamentary seat from the NPP.

Asked how he was funding his campaign, he said he had initiated a fund-raising scheme via text messaging to short code “Ras 1962” on MTN, Airtel, Vodafone and Expresso mobile networks.

With a target of GHc200,000, Ras Mubarak hopes to execute a successful campaign and inject a great deal of transparency into the funding of political campaigning through the text messaging, an innovation he claimed to have started in August, long before the Flag bearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, launched his version of text messaging to raise funds.

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