When I say I do not regard any award scheme in Africa, especially Ghana, people jump to attack me—but what is the point in receiving awards for the widespread patchiness such as this; Best Mayor of Africa award.
A few weeks ago, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije (Mayor of Accra) was awarded in far away Angola as the ‘Best Mayor of Africa’ and on his return to Ghana, a giant billboard (above) was mounted to welcome him—I assume, using the taxpayers’ money.
Forget the billboard, we are talking about a country where billboards are mounted indiscriminately with the recent I saw belonging to someone selling ‘MAGIC’.
Yesterday, it rained a little heavily in Accra and each year around the same time of the year, this happens—with the same consequence; unimaginable flood killing several people and destroying millions of properties.
This is a third world country where people struggle to buy a mere television—with a single night of rain destroying every electrical appliance people have worked hard for many years to own.
The main problem of the continuous yearly flooding is the poor drainage system—the city has no gutters and don’t tell me those potholes out there choked with garbage are gutters. If you want to see what is regarded as gutters in Ghana, CLICK HERE for our recent coverage.
This is a city built anyhow without any proper layout, serving as the seat of the Presidency and all the Ministries. These leaders together with the Mayor of Accra drive through the mess each day unconcerned—but the moment it rains and the flood (which is a yearly occurrence) takes over, they come out to express their shock and promise a fix.
How the Mayor of a City which is not just prone to flood because of bad planning and management but experiences flood each year that kills hundreds of people was honoured recently as the Best African Mayor is beyond my understanding—a lot of complex but dumb mathematics must have gone into this.
Interestingly, the Mayor prides himself with this award and financed by the taxpayer, he travelled to Angola, slept in a posh hotel and drunk bottles of fine wine to accept this empty award. The manifestation of the award is what we are witnessing today—a city flooded like a bathtub, killing innocent dwellers, children, women and men.
Perhaps, it goes beyond the mark of irony, it exposes our deep seated idiocy and far acceptance of mediocrity. Why award the man in charge of a city that flooded in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and now 2015—with people dying each time it happens?
In 2014 after the Accra flood, the president- John Dramani Mahama said; “I have directed the Finance Minister to release funds immediately for construction of storm drains in Accra. There will be no flooding in Accra again.” So what happened?
Is there a way out for us? If this is our best, I can’t wait to see your worst…