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General News of Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Accra Floods: Fear-stricken Nima residents cry for help as filth overtakes storm drain

A portion of the bridge has been turned into a refuse dump by some residents

The plight of residents at Nima-Maamobi may not be unusual but the fear of losing more lives and property as a result of the perennial flooding is making them panic; as the country is yet to be hit with another round of torrential rains.

For years, anytime it rains either life is lost or valuable properties are washed away in the community. This has become more like routine occurrence residents are used to.

However, amidst the scourge of the Novel Coronavirus, residents fear the worst is yet to come their way.

Some residents shared their sentiments and worry with GhanaWeb’s Portia Etornam Kornu when the news team visited the community.

An elder in the community, popularly called Alhaji Sharp, who has been living in Nima since infancy told the team that there has never been a rainy season which does not wreak havoc in the community.

He said people in the community believed the issue with floods would stop when government began reconstruction work on the Nima gutter but that only worsened it. Alhaji Sharp indicated that the structure of the drain was only a mere lip service which was paid to what they face.

“They started covering the bridge from the other side but refused to level the sides, so anytime it rains the whole place gets flooded and the sides which have been left undeveloped becomes a death trap. If you don’t know and you pass there, you’ll fall in it and die…”

Other residents who spoke to the team blamed their woes on the lack of attitudinal change amongst them. They claimed regardless of the availability of a proper waste management system in the community, some persons have resorted to throwing all their waste materials including faecal waste into the storm drain. A development which causes the drain to choke anytime it rains.

Sabamma Umar Adam, a community advocate lamented, “In this area, the main problem is the attitude of the people. I’m sorry to say this but the illiteracy rate here is very very high. When I started advocating for good sanitation practices they call me ‘too known’ and other names. I had to fight with my own mother before she accepted…”

Interestingly, people have started conducting business on the edge of the bridge to prevent people from dumping refuse in it.

Construction work on the 1.2-kilometre Nima-Maamobi storm drain stalled in 2018 as a result of lack of funds.

The construction of the bridge was part of the urban expansion project which was scheduled to be completed 2017 but the project has since remained undeveloped.

The Brazilian Construction Company, Queiroz Galvao, working on the project abandoned the site when resources for the project ceased to flow.

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