I spoke with a friend living somewhere in Awoshie the day after the floods.
I honestly did not know it had rained the previous night, not to talk of how severe it was.
My pal said to me ‘Kwame the water had passed the window level in my room’.
It was between the window and ceiling level.
Sad, isn’t it?
But not strange.
Just like you, I am sick and tired of discussing ‘Floods in Accra’.
It has long been an annual, sad ritual but for some sick reason we seem as a people to love this ritual.
Well, it seems so.
When I say ‘we as a people’ I am referring to the inhabitants of Accra, the media in Accra, the metropolitan authorities and indeed government.
We all know we are to blame for the situation yet we all do nothing aside show concern and surprise when it happens and just like the proverbial Ghanaian we forget all about it soon after the flood waters hesitantly and with so much difficulty find their way to wherever they eventually end up.
As far back as I can recollect there have always been floods in Accra.
The ordinary dweller of Accra carries a fair portion of the blame; I am told our engineers and town planners too have not been doing a good job over the years; then there is the media who jump at a bad news because it’s a good story and then move on to another story of very little significance like who has slept with whose wife.
I think Ghanaians are very much like primary school pupils in a typical local authority school.
By the way I used the primary school analogy without any disrespect.
I attended one in Tamale many years ago.
What the LA Primary school pupil does is that, he is aware he should not litter or disturb in class but he will do just that until he sees his teacher enter with a cane.
We do know that drains are not meant to be used as refuse dumps but will that stop some people from doing so?
We do know that we should not build in water ways but will it stop some wicked, silly, rich man from doing so?
Our city planners and the AMA do know what to do to permanently prevent our peoples from these harrowing experiences but do they do it?
Most of my compatriots will only obey the rules and laws of the land when there is a law enforcement guy in sight.
How often have we not see motorists flout every existing road traffic rule because there is no policeman in sight?
We may even be sitting in the troski when the driver commits these offences but we turn a blind eye to them.
I feel the pain of all those who have lost friends and family and property but I am happy for the wakeup call the floods have given us.
It is one call I pray to God that we grow out of our stubbornness to heed.
It is one call I pray our media will grab with both arms and pursue in all seriousness until solutions are found.
The media has time and again left the things that matter most in pursuit of the rubbish our politicians churn out.
I pray that all the hype and concerns we have shown in the past few days do not turn out to be flashes in the pan.
I pray hard about this but I am honestly not hopeful that my prayer would be answered.
As the President said, we should tackle this in a bipartisan manner and give it all we got.
Even well-planned cities lose the fight against nature sometimes so imagine the colossal loss which lies ahead of a poorly planned city!
I pray that the government gets the political will to correct these many problems contributing to these floods even if it involves pulling down the homes of so-called big men or tapping into the experience and knowledge of known opposition members.
I am sick and tired of discussing floods and I hope that the next time I write about floods, I will be commending all of us for a change in attitude, a governmental direction, and a swift, permanent execution of the many ideas already available to those who should change the status quo.
Mabere ne floods!
Author: Kwame Gyan