Ghana – Devastating Floods Hit Accra Again

Devastating floods have hit areas around Accra, the capital city of Ghana, after heavy rainfall from 18 June, 2018.

The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, toured of some flood areas in the Accra Metropolis, including Odawna, Dome, Kissieman, Kwabenya, Madina, and communities in Tema. He called on management of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to carry out a needs assessment of the flood situation.

He said government, together with other stakeholders, would take immediate steps and strategies to see how best to resolve the situation and address the challenges.

Images on Social Media showed streets in the Greater Accra Region under 1 metre of water, leaving cars submerged and buildings damaged.

Many people were trapped in their homes or vehicles and personnel from NADMO, police and Ghana Armed Forces carried out flood rescues. Local media say that two people have died and 4 are still missing.

The Ghana Meteorological Agency has warned of particularly heavy rainfall this year, especially in the Southern sector. According to public broadcaster Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the Director of Research at the Meteorological Agency, Charles Kweku York, said this year’s rains would be greater than what was recorded in 2017.

Accra’s Never Ending Flood Woes

The flooding has again exposed the poor drainage system in Accra, which comes in for severe criticism every rainy season. Despite announcements of flood prevention plans, the city regularly suffers flooding during June.

Many in the city have recently marked the third anniversary of the June 2015 flood and fire disaster. During heavy rain, an explosion and a fire occurred at a petrol station in Accra, reportedly killing over 250 people, many of whom had gone there to take shelter from the flooding and rain.

Days after the disaster, President Mahama said that “Drastic steps are necessary here if we are to permanently address this perennial problem. We will intensify efforts to expand and modernize our drainage system.”

The city flooded again in June the next year, as it did in June 2014.

Côte d’Ivoire

Heavy rain has also affected parts of neighbouring country Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) over the last 3 days. At least 19 people have died in flooding in Abidjan, situated around 400 km to the west of Accra.

Flooding in Abidjan, 19 June, 2018. Photo: Government of Côte d’Ivoire