Akwasi Asaase

Are Our Leaders Just Sadists? | I Promised Myself Never to Talk About Floods in Accra Again

Accra Flood
Accra Flood

Editors Note: This article was submitted last night, so take note of the relevant time and day details.

There are good days in Ghana but all the good days you can think come to nothing in times like this. Accra is experiencing floods of epic proportions and the unfortunate news is that it is highly likely we are going to see more rain this week. I promised myself I was never going to talk about floods in Accra; I really abused myself in order not to write this but it will come out anyway.

To start with Accra has no business experiencing floods of this magnitude. Two hours of slight rain (mind you I said slight rain not torrential rain) is just enough to flood Accra, so you can imagine what torrential rain will do.

I really pray no government official in the coming days will compare Accra to other parts of the world getting flooded because the basic education for such an oaf is that most parts of South, South East Asia, South and Central America experience this climate. The monsoon climate is characterized by massive rain, not even close to what we see here. However you rarely hear of one country experiencing floods every year at the same time of the year. Countries that experience this kind of torrential rain for days, plan their cities in order to allow rain to flow easily into the sea by using gutters, canals and so on.

Another reason why some countries experience major floods is when the spill gates of dams are opened to release excess water. Clearly this may have some serious problems for people who leave downstream. This also may not necessarily happen every year at the same time.

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Here in Accra, a family friend has been in traffic from 9pm till now which is around 1am because of flooded streets, lives and property are reported to have been lost as well. So I ask myself, are we masochists or our leaders are just sadists?

I cannot bring myself to understand how people who are tasked to run this city and country can just not do their jobs! The mayor of Accra, Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuje is busily basking in his triumph as the champion of champions in the African Mayors bout, raising billboards in his honour, for what if I may ask? I am sure by now he his dipping his balls in corn starch, getting ready to inspect the damage caused by the floods. Like a certain Ghanaian satirical blog wrote, maybe we might just have Oko building a modern version of Noah’s ark for us to solve the problem.

We see this happening EVERY YEAR!!!!

How doesn’t this cause someone to take responsibility? He may not be the first mayor to handle a flooded Accra and he will certainly not be the last until people begin to take responsibility.

There are open drains everywhere! There are houses sitting in waterways and bad drainage systems. There is also the terrible waste management system too. I don’t believe that Ghanaians are the dirtiest people in the world because cities like London produce the most waste in the world but! The difference is the waste management system they have in place.

This has nothing to do with hiring zoomlion or whatever, it should be a system that waste management companies simply comply with. So in a lazy attempt to solve the waste problem (as usual), government introduces Ghana Sanitation Day where Ghanaians are supposed to on one day, desilt gutters and sweep streets, so what happens to the other twenty-nine days? The metropolis and its CEO go to sleep?

Very soon we will hear government stooges telling us to stop complaining and have another ‘round table discussion’ to bring alternative solutions even when the previous plans have not been implemented.

Tomorrow I can assure you there will a presidential inspection to assess the damage and the President and Mayor will hold the hands of the people in this “trying time”.

Until action is taken, this same thing will happen next year because I have seen this cycle since I was born. You know why Ghanaians don’t find Fifty Shades of Grey exciting? Just look around you, isn’t that the same sadist-masochist relationship that exists in Ghana? We are turned on by our leaders.


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