Shouldn�t Someone Be Blamed?

It would be almost impossible not to point fingers at some factors and persons as being responsible for the unprecedented fire and flood which buffeted Accra over a week ago.

We have been cautioned to avoid a blame game but not doing so would be tantamount to ignoring the lessons that should be learnt from what happened.

We had earlier dismissed the attempts to attribute it all to force majeure when a man, who should have resigned his position after the disaster but stayed put, spewed that remark. That is an easy way of dealing with the issue because it saves the skin of those whose irresponsibility triggered the calamity.

One of the immediate factors responsible for the inability of the Kufuor-era constructed drains in the Alajo area to contain the volume of flood water was the non-provision of adequate drainage by the Brazilian firm undertaking the over-bridge projects at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

Since the improvement of the drainage in the Alajo area, this part of Accra and adjoining ones have not had a flood on the scale of the one under review.

The period before the onset of the rainy season should have been used to create critical drainages at Circle, given the perennial flooding in Accra and the fact that this portion of the city is critical in the passage of water en route to the sea via the Odaw River.

The relevant authorities appear to have folded their arms as the settlements in Alajo and Avenor became unwilling receptacles for the rainwater unable to find easy access to the Odaw River and the sea because of the project at Circle.

Shouldn’t someone be blamed for the shortcoming and the subsequent deaths and destruction of properties?

Before the onset of the rainy season, one of the drills undertaken by the city authorities in previous years is the desilting of the major drainages in Accra, one of which is the Odaw River. This year nothing of the sort happened even when we raised the issue in one of our editorials. Indeed we were ignored.

It was not surprising therefore when the issue of the non desilting of the Odaw River attracted public attention in the aftermath of the floods.

Here is also recalling the directive to the Finance Minister by the President for the release of funds for the construction of storm drainages in Accra to obviate future recurrence of floods following last year’s floods. The project was not undertaken and we learnt sadly when victims were counting their losses that the money was never released.

The foregone provide adequate grounds for the apportioning of blame. We are surprised that no commission of enquiry made up of among others, hydrologists and engineers of repute has been empanelled to delve into what happened.

In our part of the world, public officials do not resign their appointments when under their watch disasters, as witnessed recently, occur.

Maybe some public officials are being protected. For how long shall the affairs of this country be run in this manner?