The Greater Accra Regional Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Archibald Cobbina, is in the news for saying that his directorate has intensified routine measures and introduced new ones to reduce the impact of the rainy season on about 1,000 flood-prone areas in the region.
The intensified measures include public education; de-silting of drains; demolition of structures on waterways; identification of safe havens; and constitution of a standby team while the new ones involve the acquisition of a search and rescue ambulance.
NADMO says these measures constitute its preparedness for the rainy season following projections by the Ghana Meteorological Agency that there could be heavy rains in June, July and August.
Floods during rainy season are a common occurrence in parts of the region, especially Accra, the national capital, where the phenomenon results in loss of lives and property every year.
Therefore, it is curious for NADMO officials to be prompted by projections by the meteorological agency before they plunge into serious action towards assuaging the effects of flooding in the areas concerned.
The organisation was established by the National Disaster Management Organisation Act, 1996 to be responsible for the management of areas affected by disasters and similar emergencies, and for the rehabilitation of persons affected by disasters.
Its specific disaster risk reduction roles include preparing national disaster plans for preventing the consequences of disasters; analysing the nature of hazards, vulnerability, and risk situations in particular areas; and managing information related to disasters, whether it has occurred or impending.
Though the Ghanaian Times has no motive of pulling down any organisation or its officials, it is worried that important organisations like NADMO kind of renege on their duties and even where they want to work, they come in late or at the odd time.
But for climatic change, in Ghana and in June, the rains would have started and in troubling downpours because June is the country's wettest month, with July and August following.
So far, there is no serious de-silting work in the Odaw, the drain that takes most of the flood waters in Accra.
The Ghanaian Times is also worried that it is at this time that the construction of major storm drains and bridges to open up channels into the Odaw drain were at various stages of completion at Adenta, Nungua and surrounding areas in the Krowor Municipality.
The CMB Flats area in North Kaneshie and Alajo, both in Accra, used to be dreadful places to live in so far as flooding was concerned but when Presidents JJ Rawlings and JA Kufuor respectively did the needful, residents of these places can now sleep.
NADMO, as part of your roles, you should have plans to solve the flooding problems across the country.
Yes, you can prepare the safe havens and acquire a search and rescue ambulance but they do not eradicate or reduce flooding. They only provide some solace and when lives and property are lost, such solace cannot replace them; neither can the plastic buckets and mats given to flood victims.
You can also pull down structures in waterways but this and all your current measures would not do enough.
Get infrastructure like deep and large enough storm drains that can collect very large volumes of rainwater such that even if there is a spillover, it can easily be managed.
Also, let us build a rain-harvesting system so that we can even collect the water in the dry season for various uses.
NADMO may need to consult countries like The Netherlands (Holland) to help us.