Rain, Rain and Yet More Rain

Right now, I’m not even sure when Ghana’s two rainy seasons begin and when they end.  The rains fell heavily from May through August.  There seemed to be a temporary reprieve in September.  But now, at the end of October, the rains have come again. Two nights of incessant raining has caused flooding in Accra.  My neighborhood is okay but parts of Accra and Tema have not been so lucky.

People like to sleep when it rains.  It’s cooler and it encourages snuggling, cuddling and the kinky rest. Not for me.  Since coming back to Ghana, I’ve found our tropical rainy weather must problematic.  I get very nervous when it thunders and rains.  This has compounded my usual bout of insomnia.  I have not been able to sleep for two nights.

Parts of Accra are flooded, some lives have been lost.  The damage is real and costly.  Given the above average rainfall this year, some flooding is expected.  But Ghana, we are not tired of this, we are not tired of our inaction and inertia?  Are we not sick of ourselves yet?  It might rain tonight, what then?  Will our government and NADMO (agency in charge of disaster) tell us what we can do today to fend off another disaster tomorrow?

This year, the government was successful in limiting destruction in flood-prone areas in the Upper West and Upper East regions of Ghana.  There was a massive education campaign coupled with temporary evacuations of some communities.  We need this in Accra.  We want to take one day as it comes.  But the rains are cumulative.  If the land is water-logged and the waterways and drains are already filled, flooding will occur.  If we’ve built in the path of rivers and close by lagoons, flooding will occur.  We need to be educated.  I admit that I’m ignorant as to what I can do in my neighborhood to secure property and lives.  And talking about communities; NADMO has to train members of each community on timely emergency skills.  We are the first on the scene and the ones who help out the most.  The disasters happen where we live and work.  Get us involved, please.

The rains must come.  This, afterall, is a good thing.  But the lives lost, the damage, the destruction- the extent of this is our fault.  OURS!

(Please use #AccraFloods to follow developments on Twitter)

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11 comments

  1. Forgive me for the late response to all your caring comments. Several deaths were reported. I had to travel out of Accra some days after the flood. On the trip, to the Central Region of Ghana, I found several communities and villages inundated by rivers that had overflowed their banks. The situation is back to ‘normal” . Normal includes the prevailing attitude of doing nothing and waiting for the next downpour!

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  2. Hi Kinna, so sorry to hear that. It’s terrible when lives are lost unnecessarily. Hope the rains abate soon! I agree with Parrish – we’re always moaning about the weather here in London, but need to have a reality check. Thinking of you and everyone in Accra and hoping you stay safe and no more lives are lost.

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  3. I’ve been following the floods, especially because the organization I work for has several clients in Ghana. But they all are safe and doing well – hope you are too!

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  4. The rain sounds fairly incessant you are right. I hope that damage is minimal and that you can get some sleep soon. Terrible the inaction and corruption. We end up with flooding here for similar reasons – buildings in the way of natural waterways and etc. Training would definitely be beneficial too. Here’s hoping they implement something there and the government doesn’t get stuck in inaction.

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  5. Kinna,

    This is so heartfelt. The rainy seasons sound very similar to those in Nigeria (except we get our break in August) and I remember frequent flooding in Lagos..Stay safe and I hope you’re able to get some sleep.

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  6. For me, sometimes, I am forced to blame those of us who buy land and then the squatters. We are aware that we are buying water logged lands, but because the price is cheap, we overlook the implications and go ahead, anyway. Then again, the squatters who pitch tents on the waterways and waterlogs. They are given warnings to move and yet, the excuse is that they have no where to go, and maybe in reality they don’t. When the floods come, inevitably, such squatters are the first to lose thier wooden kiosks and sometimes, their wee toddlers. The cycle is vicious. And we can ony break it through intensive and rigourous educaiton.

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  7. Hi Kinna is a passionate call. My boss called me this morning to check if I’ve become a victim of the flood. You make an important point regarding the need to train community members since they are the first on the scene of any such disasters. Another thing that we should also know is that water will find its course. If we continue to build indiscriminately and the town planners continue to give out building permits without proper check on the location and how the building is to be put up (perhaps because they’ve bribed) we will suffer. The we here includes the builder and the town planner. All of us. Sometimes we think our actions wouldn’t catch up with us. They always do. And governments (because of votes?) also find it difficult to take appropriate action. Then comes the Human Rights group who finds any such demolishing exercise negative to social progress. They stand against almost everything. When the rains come and there is flooding they complain, when action is taken to avoid flooding, they criticise.

    In the end, this cannot continue. Hope the NADMO boss is listening. Whatever was done in the Upper East and West must be replicated in Accra. Long term solution must also be sought if it means demolishing houses in waterways.

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