GhIE urges immediate action on flood management preparedness in cities


As the country approaches its rainy season, the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) has expressed significant concern regarding the potential for flooding in the nation’s major cities.

The convergence of inadequate drainage systems, incomplete urban development and the effects of climate change increase the risk of severe flooding that can lead to loss of life, property damage and widespread disruption.

The GhIE recognises that while efforts have been made in some areas to improve infrastructure and prepare for annual rainfalls, many urban areas remain unprepared for the heightened likelihood of flooding brought on by climate variability and increasingly intense rain patterns. It noted that the need for comprehensive flood management strategies is urgent and must be prioritised by both local and national authorities.

GhIE recommendations

To advert disaster, the GhIE is calling for urgent infrastructure maintenance. It said immediate steps should be taken by Metropolitan/District Assemblies (MDAs) to repair and desilt existing drainage structures prone to overflow and blockage.

It also advocated heightened public education, noting that is crucial that MDAs, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), implement extensive public education campaigns on flood safety and preparedness, through national and local media.

“Residents should be provided with clear information on flood prone areas, evacuation routes, the location of safe havens, emergency contacts and measures to safeguard households during heavy rains,” it said.

It further recommended that NADMO be fully engaged and resourced to manage potential disasters effectively. This includes pre-disaster planning and active deployment during emergencies to manage evacuations, provide emergency relief and coordinate with other agencies.

It added that weather forecasting data should be communicated to the public regularly in English and Ghanaian languages by Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMET) to ensure that it is understood by all. It should be used to warn the public in good time ahead of heavy rains to enable them to follow response strategies.

It also urged community involvement in cleaning drainages and reducing blockages, which can significantly mitigate the risks of flooding. “MDAs should embark upon campaigns encouraging residents to keep gutters and drains free of waste should, intensifying these efforts before and during the rainy season.

These proactive measures, it opined, will help protect communities and ensure that our cities can withstand the challenges posed by severe weather conditions.

“The GhIE urges all stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector partners, and the general public to treat this situation with the seriousness it deserves.

“The GhIE calls on all engineering practitioners within the MDAs, NADMO and all other related agencies to lead in flood management efforts. GhIE is committed to providing support through expert advice and engineering solutions to aid in the planning and implementation of effective flood management systems. Together, we can mitigate the impact of flooding and safeguard the well-being of all residents in Ghana,” it concluded.

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