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How 8 hours of rain caused havoc in Accra

The damage caused by floods in Accra does not seem to end as several areas got submerged after a heavy downpour on Wednesday, 15 June 2022.

The rain started around 10 am and lasted almost eight hours, causing traffic congestion on major roads in the capital.

The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) had earlier forecasted that there would be three further bouts of heavy rain in the south by the end of June.

As the deluge continued, Ghanaians flocked to social media to share videos of flooded areas, where the rains had caused massive havoc.

Affected places in the capital include Kaneshie, Adabraka, Weija, Teshie, Asylum Down Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Dansoman, Tse Addo, and Tesano.

Destruction by floods

Many lives have been lost and properties destroyed due to the annual floods.

In 2011, floods in the country resulted in the death of more than 30 people nationwide, with 15 victims in Accra.

In 2015, 159 people were confirmed dead from a twin disaster of floods and fire explosion.

It was one of the deadliest catastrophes to befall the country, leading to days of mourning as families lost their loved ones.

A fire explosion occurred after several hours of rain and flooding around the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange enclave.

In June 2020, a man died trying to warn neighbours about flooding at Odawna in Accra.

A resident explained that the deceased was trying to salvage some items during the flooding when he was electrocuted.

At Achimota, a bus was trapped in a storm drain. It was not carrying passengers. At least 20 persons were rescued from that incident after a downpour that lasted hours.

Flooding in Accra has also killed people and displaced people in the city in 1995, 1997, 2001, and 2010.

Interventions by authorities

For many Ghanaians, the annual ritual of the capital city flooding has become a cause of anger.

Efforts by the city authorities to check the situation continue to be undermined by recalcitrant residents and the weak enforcement of bye-laws.

The government has attempted to address this problem by dredging rivers and gutters before rainy seasons, but this appears to be ineffective.

In May 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo inspected two major projects handed out in 2016 to Dredge Masters Limited for the desilting and dredging of the Odaw channel and restoration of the Korle Lagoon to avert the perennial flooding in Accra.

The scope of work also included the redesign and construction of the KLERP interceptor and breakwater at the outfall.

The channel under the scope starts from the Odaw Onyasia confluence at Carprice in Accra, through Avenor, Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, and the Agbogbloshie-South Kaneshie drain (the Upper and Lower Lagoon).

The two projects the president inspected were the Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Drainage Alleviation Project at Circle and the Drainage Construction at Kaneshie 1st Light Intersection.

Other causes of floods are the improper planning of settlement in Accra, choked gutters that block the drainage system, and a few other human factors.

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