Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on flooding in Ghana.
It is true that flooding cannot-- Nobody can stop flooding in the world. But yes, we can mitigate the action or the effect of flood. If you look at China where they have high rise buildings, they still experience flooding. Go to the United States of America, go to Australia and all these developed countries, with all the latest technology in drain construction and high r ise buildings, they still experience flooding.
What we can do as a people is that first of all, we must always be prepared when we are getting into the rainy seasons and prepare how to mitigate flooding when it comes by. As a former Hon Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, the Ministry had to collaborate always with the Ministry of Local Government and
Rural Development and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and all the other agencies to always go in, whenever we had flooding.
Mr Speaker, some of the flooding in Ghana, is caused by ourselves. As has been stated by other Hon Colleagues, we decide to turn our gutters into our waste bins; we come out of our homes and we dump the garbage there. If you go to our markets, we build our structures on our drains. We also build posh houses in waterways.
Mr Speaker, there are areas in Accra where you go and you find big, posh houses, they would intentionally -- The Odaw River for instance, has been blocked at a certain point and only two houses had been built on that waterway and because of those two houses, there was a particular year that a whole community was flooded and the life of a four-year old boy was lost.
We had to go in and collaborate with the Assembly to demolish those two buildings and ever since we did that, the flooding in that area, the effect on the people also went down.
Mr Speaker, we would also want to appeal to the Town and Country Planning Department -- Go to Accra, there is a city we call “Iron City.” Iron City is a well-planned city. A plan that has been given by the Town and Country Planning Department but if you look at the original plan, there was no space for drains. Anytime it rains, they experience a lot of flooding.
So, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, together with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had to go in and of course,
the residents association, we sat down with some of the residents whose houses had to be broken down to pave way for the construction by the Hydrological Department of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. They agreed and these drains were constructed and of course, from that time on the effect of the flooding was mitigated.
Mr Speaker, I think that a lot has been said by my Hon Colleagues. I feel that as a people, as His Excellency the President said yesterday, we need to also check ourselves. We need to be disciplined. We have to know that when we use our gutters, we choke our drains, and we build in waterways -- In fact, you do not have to go far, go to East Legon. We have posh houses and they extended the walls to the waterways and so, whenever it rains, you find part of the walls broken down.
The Hydrological Department has had to create the drains through walls and break walls and these are not because these people did not have building permits, but because as a people we chose to take the law into our own hands. I feel that we should all heed to the call by His Excellency the President yesterday, that we should look into ourselves and we should love Ghana.
Ghana should always be first, the laws are there, the Police will not always be there with us, the Inspectors will not always be there with us. When I get up at dawn and I decide to dump my waste in the gutter, it is only me and it is not the Assemblies or anybody else.
On this note, I would want to associate myself with the Statement and I call on all of us to be self-disciplined and heed to the call of His Excellency the President and I am sure that when we do this and decide to have a proper disposal of our waste from our homes, we will in our own little way, contribute to the mitigation of the effect of flooding on our lives.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.