The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMET) has warned that heavy rains, accompanied by strong winds, would continue into the next month.
The GMET’s warning comes on the back of last Saturday and Sunday’s heavy rains that left the southeastern parts of the country including Accra and its environs submerged.
Among the communities in the city that were swamped were areas around the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Odawna, Graphic Road, Adabraka, Weija, SCC, Tuba Tollbooth, Kingstown, Kasoa, Adentan Commando and Nsakina.
The Deputy Director of the GMET, Mrs Francisca Martey, who also doubles as the agency’s Head of Research and Applied Meteorology, who gave the caution also called for drains to be de-silted and also urged the public to familiarise themselves with daily weather forecasts before leaving their homes.
“People living in areas that are flood prone must move to higher grounds or safer places in times of storms or strong winds,” Mrs Martey added.
The rains began about 1 a.m. on Saturday, lasted about five hours and returned in the wee hours of Sunday and went on for more than three hours.
The plight of many people in the flooded communities was compounded mainly as a result of poor environmental practices, including the blockage of watercourses.
The Ghana Meteorological Agency said it was analysing why the rains were heavy this time when it had been the trend for the rains to be moderate in October.
The Deputy Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Abu Ramadan, told the Daily Graphic’s Kester Aburam Korankye that floods had displaced hundreds of people living along the Odaw River in areas such as Achimota and Adabraka.
Because of that, he said, NADMO had moved in with relief items to support the affected people.
He said the organisation had relocated many of the affected people to neutral grounds and encouraged others to move in with their relatives and friends living elsewhere.
“This type of rain is not expected in October because usually you don’t see much rain during this time of the year, but because of climate change, the weather pattern has changed and that is why we are experiencing these unexpected flooding situations. But we have the situation under control at the moment,” Mr Ramadan said.
At Adabraka, the Daily Graphic observed that many homes were flooded as the Odaw River had overflowed its banks, Joshua Bediako Koomson writes.
Shops and garages were not spared, while flood water carried loads of debris into homes and also spilled them on the streets.
Some residents, including children, were seen using buckets to scoop water out of their rooms.
The Adabraka Sahara Park was completely flooded and most of the roads were rendered impassable.
Some establishments in the South Industrial Area, such as the Ghana Rubber Company, KIA and Kimo Homes, bore the brunt of the rains.
Some residents who did not seem surprised about the situation said they faced the same challenge every year and had become used to it.
A welder, Mr Hope Doamekpor, who has been working at Adabraka since 1989, said: “I’ve lived in this community since 1995 and have always faced this challenge; we have tried to meet the authorities for a solution, but to no avail.”
He suggested that the Odaw River should have a silting machine stationed permanently along its banks to continuously de-silt the river and its associated drains, since the silt contributed significantly to the perennial flooding in the area.
A resident, Mr Rauf Awudu, attributed the situation to the small sizes of the drains that run into the Odaw River.
Emmanuel Bonney reports that many houses at Kingstown at Ngleshie Amanfro in the Ga South municipality were flooded following about six hours of heavy rains last Saturday and yesterday.
All the roads, alleys and lanes from the Brother Lee area through to Black Gate and Fear God were filled with water, compelling residents to remain indoors.
While some residents managed to scoop water from their rooms, others looked on in anguish, unable to salvage their belongings.
Some residents who spoke with the Daily Graphic blamed the Ga South Municipal Assembly for not paying much attention to issues of flooding in the area.
For instance, they said, the assembly’s top officials must occasionally go round the municipality, when it was approaching the rainy season, to assess conditions and conduct needs assessment in preparation for the rains.
A resident, Mr George Crabbe, appealed to the assembly to urgently allocate resources for massive drainage works, particularly on the stretch from Black Gate to Fear God in order to end the perennial flooding experienced in the area.
Some communities at Kasoa and its environs were overtaken by fast-running flood waters, Prince Acquah writes.
Many at Adade in the Awutu Senya East District had their houses partially submerged during the rains.
A drain, heavily choked with sand and weeds, got overflowed with water that forced its way into people’s homes and other properties.
The drain had become narrow over time, as some homeowners had built close to it.
“In July, the flood pulled down my wall. I had to run away with my kids to spend the night with a neighbour,” Mrs Joyce Twumasi-Odum lamented.
There was mudslide at Tuba, a community about 500 metres away from the Kasoa Tollbooth on the Accra-Cape Coast dual carriageway .
Such was the heavy traffic when the road became unmotorable, compelling drivers to divert onto the Kasoa-bound side of the road to move against oncoming traffic.
The Old Barrier stretch of the Kasoa-Accra highway was turned into a river, leaving vehicles stranded in its wake.