By Catherine Ahiador:
It’s just past five pm, days after flood waters swept through this neighbourhood and several other areas within the town. The high sense of uncertainty was clearly visible especially as the rain clouds gathered. I was not left out of course. I, just as the others had fallen victim to the earlier flooding. My house and room were devastated with my room filled to my thigh level. Needless to say I suffered personal losses and so why would I be left out of the anxiety following today’s gathering of rain clouds.
As the rains finally came down in drones, the entire household was turned into a line up of ‘school kids.’ It was a never-ending to and from behind the house as each keenly read the water levels, just to be on the alert of any rising water levels. But again steadily did the volumes and levels rise, again. But alas! In the end, we were saved another inconvenience, losses or a possible disaster.
The devastating effects of the rains in the eastern regional town of Odumase Krobo and its environs continue to ravage homes and the affected. Many areas including Odumase Krobo, Agomanya, Kpongunor and others within the Lower Manya Krobo district suffer heavy flooding which leads to the loss of several household items. Though nobody has as yet died in the floods, residents continue to come to terms with and still count their losses.
The heavy downpours leaves residents gasping for breathe seeking refuge at various places during the period. This writer who was a victim and who was marooned in his during one such downpuor, cited breathtaking scenes of parents ‘ferrying’ their children on their backs to escape the waters which had broken boundaries and entered their rooms.
“We have been facing this problem for several years now without end,” one affected resident told me. According to them, all efforts to get authorities to address their plight have fallen on deaf ears. Residents also added that the floods have caused many problems in the vicinity including loss of personal items such as television sets, home theatres, clothing, mattresses, phones, etc.
Aside the temporal displacement of affected residents, the aftermath of the rains lives behind volumes of filth as well as a nose-splitting stench obviously emanating from the waste and debris left over by the floods.
Reacting to the issues, Municipal Chief Executive of the Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly, honourable Daniel Acolatse who was just short of calling the occurrence an accident and not a disaster, wondered why the assembly would spend a ‘fortune’ on the construction of gutters, as suggested by residents as part of the solution to the problem. To him, constructing the gutter is destined to salvage the plight of a few people as against developmental projects such as a hospital, a school, market, etc.
He admitted he was very much aware of the problem and the assembly was in the process of liaising with the National Disaster Management Organization to, NADMO to send their field workers out to make a detailed assessment of the extent of damage and take an informed position.
“We have repeatedly reported this to the assembly but no action has acted yet to address the problem. The MCE himself promised coming to access the situation but that has not happened.” One distraught resident of Odornor, a suburb of Agomanya which is one of affected places, lamented bitterly to me.
Another resident, Madam Margaret Ofori, also a resident of Agomanya explained her plight by saying that the flood waters entered her room, leaving her, an old woman to stand in the water throughout the night till day the next day when assistance came. She feared many would have perished if the rains continued the night through.
Another victim said she was sleeping in her room when the rain started but did not know of its intensity until she realized to her horror that she was sleeping in a pool of water.
The question the people of Lower Manya continue to ask their authorities meanwhile is when they will come to their rescue and help stop the flooding.