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16.03.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: The Floods Are Here Again: Nature Or Man-Made Folly?

By Accra Daily Mail

At the onset of this year's rainy season, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has sent out a flood warning to Ghanaians, especially those of us resident in the national capital that we must brace ourselves for and take the necessary precautions against the floods that would follow the expected heavy rains this year.

Nobody can say they haven't been warned. NADMO's statement was specific and called on people living in low-lying areas to make arrangements to move to higher ground before the season peaks.

Even at this opening stage of the season, we are already experiencing the destructive force of floods in many parts of the country.

As far as the season is concerned, it is an act of nature, which we gladly welcome, especially since our agriculture is rain-dependent, but the floods that follow are often devastating, resulting in loss of life and property.

We know how much of it is due to nature, and indeed we know how much of it is due to our own follow in building houses where we are not supposed to.

Indiscipline has permeated all sectors of our society to the extent that no planning authorities either out of connivance or incompetence allow people to build indiscriminately, some even in obvious waterways.

It is also difficult to tell at what point in our history that we developed the culture of high walls around our houses, but all these self-serving building styles have gone to affect the free flow of rain water in our urban centres.

And now the phenomenon of plastics has added to the problem. We simply do NOT have any programme for checking the proliferation and disposal of non-biodegradable material.

In Accra, after even the slightest rain, the destructive effect of "pure water" sachets and other plastics are evident all round.

And so it seems there is not much we can do but to sit out the floods and count our costs! What a gloomy state of affairs!

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