RAINS CAUSE HAVOC....In Central Accra, Ofankor and Begoro (Front Page)

The billboard which crashed onto the High Street in Accra. INSET: A classroom block at Ofankor which had its roof ripped off by the rainstorm

THE vulnerability of Accra to floods during rainstorms manifested again yesterday when parts of the city and its streets were deeply submerged in water after two hours of stormy rains.

In some other parts, trees and a mighty advertising billboard belonging to Coca-Cola were uprooted, slamming onto busy streets but with no casualty recorded.

Some buildings also had their roofs ripped off, especially at Ofankor, where some primary school pupils were injured.

On the High Street in Accra, close to the Old Parliament House, the Coca-Cola billboard was uprooted and slammed onto the road, affecting traffic flow.

An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that the giant billboard crashed onto the road during the storm but fortunately disaster was avoided because there was no vehicle or person where and when it fell.

The two-hour rain, which started late morning, created heavy traffic on the routes from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to Kaneshie, 37, La, Achimota and the central business district (CBA) of Accra.

When the Daily Graphic went round to ascertain the extent of damage caused by the rain, it saw that a number of houses at James Town, Fadama and Abossey Okai had been inundated with water.

At James Town, some residents had their rooms filled with water to the knee level.

“We carried some of our valuable belongings on our heads as it rained. Luckily, we survived it without any incident, but the entire room is full of water,” Madam Ayorkor Adjetey told the Daily Graphic.

She appealed to the government to come to their aid, since the rainy season always brought misery to residents of the area.

Most businesses in those areas were temporarily closed down, as the floods deposited huge volumes of silt and garbage on their premises.

The city of Accra, which is sited on low-lying ground, experiences flooding annually mainly because of the haphazard construction of houses, especially on water courses, poor drainage and waste management system that leads to residents choking the drains with garbage.

Efforts by city authorities to check the situation continue to be undermined by recalcitrant residents and a weak enforcement of bye-laws.
Last year, the floods that swept through the capital resulted in the death of seven persons at various parts of the city, in addition to the destruction of properties running into millions of Ghana cedis.

Similar incidents were recorded in 1995, 1997 and 2001.

At the Ofankor L.A. Primary School, the roofs of some of its classrooms were ripped off, forcing the school to close earlier than expected, reports Albert K. Salia.

Five of the pupils who were injured were rushed to the Amasaman Government Hospital for treatment. One of them was, however, detained due to the severity of his injury.

Eyewitnesses told the Daily Graphic that the roofs of classes One and Two and part of Class Three were ripped off by the storm and they fell on some of the pupils.

Policemen who visited the scene met an empty school because the school authorities closed the school earlier than usual as a result of the storm.

From Begoro, Nana Konadu reports that 15 students of the Begoro Senior High School got injured when the roof of their classroom caved in during a rainstorm which hit the town.

The students, who are on admission at the Begoro Hospital, are responding to treatment.


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