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03.06.2019 Opinion

Where Was The Ark When 'Dubai'' Got Deluged?

By Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Where Was The Ark When 'Dubai'' Got Deluged?

Sometimes I come like lion.
Sometimes I come like tornado.
And sometimes I come like a bulldozer.
I'm uncompromising, you know that for sure, yet this nation lives her life like 'Bobo' in a wild storm.

Tell me, where's thou strength?
Or where would you run to when I unleash my venom upon you?

You want to know why I'm angry?
I'm angry because of your seemingly slacking behaviour and carefree attitude.

You'd think I care less about your situation.
I'm wicked and unforgiving, you'd think.
No, I am not.
I do the things I do because of you..I've watched from a distance over the years with consternation and pain the things you do to inflict harm to yourself and your own children. It makes me wonder if you're caring or compassionate.

See, I told you so. Just like I told Noah.
But you were ill-prepared. And sooner than anticipated the Sun would be dispatched to go to bed, as daylight also got robbed by darkness.

How did we forget that she was coming again?
The monstrous storm announced herself.
She continued to whip the walls and roofs of buildings. Drenched. They didn't seem to have strong footing any longer.

And from afar the floods splashed and gurgled in a series of pools. Roads, sidewalks. Crosswalks or Zebra crossings all drowned in a spell of moments. And she came along with filth. The filth we indiscriminately left on the streets and roads. She spilt them all out at the beachfront and everywhere.

Accra is in big trouble again. The city experienced yet another serious floods last week. About four years ago, Accra was hit by massive floods, the city was deluged--killing more than one hundred people.

Yes, everyone remembers what happened to our city and our people in June 2015, when a petrol station exploded. We cried. We wept and mourned like doves for our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers. We lost our loved ones.

We were assured never again.
But again we've been marooned.
We forgot the Ark.
Indeed, nature was throwing her temper tantrums. The flood waters had taken aim at the buildings, livestock, stores, stalls, kiosks, people and anything that stood on her way.

She held its sway, downing power lines, flipping cars and invading people's homes without knocking on their doors. They couldn't refuse her entry.

Where's NADMO?
The people cried.
They blamed NADMO for doing too little or nothing.. and they also blamed government for neglect.

But they forget that they're major contributors to Accra's perennial floods. They won't stop littering. They won't stop stealing trash cans and they won't stop building on waterways.

That's ironic, isn't it?
Why blame me, questions NADMO.
But the blame game wouldn't end there. NADMO perpetuates it. It's a vicious cycle.

She fingers the security--- fire service, police, military etc for not showing up in time .

The security says we are not to blame.
Blame the government. We don't make the laws and we don't have the resources to do what's required of us.

Now, where does the buck stop?
And the government says, wait a minute how come everyone's blaming me. Have you forgotten how you jammed the streets with kiosks and stores?

But who issued them permit in the first place?
Indeed we're all in this together.
Therefore, lets build the Ark because the floods will soon come. Remember everyone is responsible for this age-long problem.

We all seem to know Accra's problem with regard to these floods. Over the years writers, engineers, architects, experts have prescribed solutions. Yet we don't seem to get the problem remedied.

You would ask why is it so?
My former News Editor at Choice Radio Albert Kofi Owusu, now General Manager Ghana News Agency (GNA) articulated it best in one of the social media platforms a couple of days ago.

Mr Owusu provides what could be the major reason why the floods keep recurring.

"..It’s called padding to share. A contractor gets a job, he has to pad the figures to pay kickbacks to officials and go-betweens. Often because there’s a big pool of payees to take care of invariably the contractor has to cut back on the materials needed for the project as he will always protect his margins!"

And that's so true. The 15 per cent cutbacks by Mr. Asomasi and his cohorts are robbing this nation of value for money. Until the kickbacks and the freebies stop we'd continue to witness the floods. They'd commission the roads, the bridges you name it in grand style and christen them Dubai. But truth is, there's nothing about it that resembles the Arabian charming city.

According to Mr. Owusu, "if you hear the Ayalolo bus project story you will ask yourself should we continue with this our democratic experiment??!!!"

"The road construction for instance. If everybody along the line is held accountable - through dismissals, prosecution and seizure of illegally acquired properties - we will begin to see a change. But in this our society where politicians, chiefs and even priests beg officialdom to forgive errant public officials when they are caught for wrongdoing," he said.

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