Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make this Statement on the menace of floods in the Awutu-Senya East and its environs.
Mr Speaker, Kasoa, in Hausa Language, means a market or a place where people meet to transact business in goods and services.
Mr Speaker, Kasoa is the fastest growing town in Ghana. This fast growth could be attributed to the relatively low price of land and the existence of infrastructural facilities as well as comparatively low rates of rent. Such favourable conditions enable Kasoa to attract an estimated average of 40 households weekly.
This influx has brought in its wake a high demand for all types of social amenities which lag behind the massive population growth. This explains why Kasoa is now described as an “overgrown village”. The greatest threat to this community is inadequate drainage systems.
Mr Speaker, most parts of Kasoa are low-lying and as such are prone to floods during rainfall, regardless of how moderate the downpour may be. The mere sight of clouds gathering is enough to alert people in areas like CP, Kpometey, Opeikuma, New Town, Zongo, Wualantie, prompting them to pray to God to stall the rains. The case is worse for communities along the Okludu stream.
Mr Speaker, anyone touring the flood- prone areas after a downpour will end up being emotionally torn apart. Women and children are almost always the worst affected victims. In most cases, lives are lost and electrocution is very common. Property damage becomes the order of the day. There are situations where flood levels rise so high that people are seen taking refuge on rooftops. In extreme instances, people have to engage swimmers who use canoes for rescue missions.
Mr Speaker, the unavailability of drainage facilities with the relevant carrying capacity to empty run-off waters has further complicated issues. The main drainage system needs appropriate desilting and restructuring. There are occasions where houses built on water ways are issued with warning notices for demolition but which are never effected at the peril of the larger society.
This situation has been blamed on lack of political will by the Municipal Assembly to carry out the exercise. There are situations where culverts are constructed at locations far away from the actual channel of run-off waters for reasons best known to the contractors and the Municipal Authority. These further enhance flooding.
In the meantime, property owners keep complaining about the payment of levies, taxes and rates while not receiving commensurate benefits.
Mr Speaker, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) is doing some work but their effort has not been good enough as flood cases keep rising. Besides, they do not have adequate logistics like vehicles, canoes, life jackets, tents and others to enable them carry out their life saving mandate. In some cases, they respond to distress calls very late or do not show up at all.
Mr Speaker, any encounter with residents at Kasoa and almost all other communities in Awutu-Senya brings to the fore concerns about floods and flood control. This year, the floods have become ritualistic, and have brought in their wake another ritual of cholera and other waterborne diseases.
In conclusion, Mr Speaker, may I, on behalf of my constituents, call on Government and specifically, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, and the Department of Urban Roads to attend to the drainage needs of the people of Awutu-Senya East with the greatest degree of urgency.
Once again, thank you, Mr Speaker, for your indulgence.