Accra Floods Again!

Hours of torrential rains yesterday submerged the nation’s capital, Accra, with many people running to safety.

It started drizzling around 9am and suddenly intensified, leading to the flooding of most parts of the city.

The areas around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and along the banks of the Odaw River were the worst hit, sending shivers down the spines of most residents of Accra in view of the recent June 3 disaster that killed over 200 residents.

For almost three hours, it rained incessantly and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and rescue teams were dispatched to various parts of the city.

Houses in flood-prone and waterlogged areas submerged as the rains intensified.

However, as at press time yesterday no casualty had been reported.

Nkrumah Circle
The entire Kwame Nkrumah Circle area had virtually become a no-go area, compelling the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije and his men to rush to the place to get firsthand information.

Residents and traders blamed the Brazilian construction firm Queiroz Galvao for the flooding, citing the blockade of waterways by the firm as the major cause.

They threatened to embark on a demonstration against the company, even though it also suffered as a result of the flooding yesterday.

Mr Vanderpuije and his men stood helpless as they watched the water level increase rapidly.

Impact
Frightened people were seen walking in the flood waters which were up to their waist and knee levels.

Most of the roads in the capital became immotorable as a result of shallow and choked gutters.

While drivers struggled to meander through the floods to get to their respective destinations, many people struggled to find vehicles to get to their various places of work.

Others had to seek refuge under available places of shelter in order to survive.

Commuters were also stranded at lorry stations, with some refusing to take refuge at fuel stations because of the June 3 disaster at the Nkrumah Circle Goil filling station.

At a point, some drivers locked and parked their vehicles and ran to safety to avoid being drowned.

Water entered into the engines of several vehicles, rendering them dysfunctional; and traders in places such as the Accra Central Business District, Kaneshie market and the Nkrumah Circle struggled to salvage their wares.

The Odaw and Alajo storm drains could not contain the floods as a result of the filth that had engulfed them.

It appears no lessons were learnt from the June 3 disaster in Accra that rendered many homeless and claimed several lives and property.

Many are yet to assess the losses they incurred as a result of yesterday’s floods.

Flood Alert
Hours after the rains had stopped, government issued a statement urging residents of Accra and all parts of the country ‘to stay away from open drains and move to higher grounds if they live in low-lying areas.’

The statement, which was issued and signed by Communications Minister Dr Edward Omane Boamah, stated that ‘in the event of an emergency, residents are advised to call 112.’

The emergency services were said to be on standby to respond swiftly to any distress calls that would come in.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu


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