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General News of Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Source: Classfmonline.com

Declare state of emergency on Accra floods – Vanderpuije

The government must declare a state of emergency following perennial flooding in some parts of Accra including the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, former Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has said.

According to him, the John Mahama administration developed some road maps to deal with the flooding situation in the capital and some other parts of the country, therefore, the government must declare a state of emergency to implement those plans.

Mr Vanderpuije, who is the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South, told Class91.3FM’s parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan on Tuesday 7 March: “You saw how the vehicle went down last week on the Circle Interchange. But for God do you know how it would have landed on our people? When I was in office I said no trading in that area. When they finish trading every day do you know the amount of refuse that is pumped into the Odaw River? We are not dredging now so if you went to Odawna right now, I can tell you the volume of waste that you will see already settled into the Odaw River.

“It is a matter of ensuring standards, standards that will inure to our benefits, not just the hawkers. Go to the TUC area and see the people selling on the pavement. Do you know the amount of refuse they leave behind every night? The rains that came last night, do you know the amount of…panties, shirts, that they left behind and the rain sweeping all of it into the Odaw? These are the practical things that if we don’t put our foot down to address they will create problems for us.

“We need to declare a state of emergency and support the Ministry of Works and Housing to solve this problem because we don’t want people to die.”

However, the Bureau of Public Safety has disagreed with Mr Vanderpuije’s call for a state of emergency to be declared following the likelihood of floods in the country.

Nana Yaw Akwada, Executive Secretary for the Bureau of Public Safety, speaking on 505 on Class FM on Tuesday 7 March, said: “The problems in Accra, as far as flooding is concerned, are not any new things. Perhaps, if per the ex-mayor’s judgement with the fact that there is probably no mayor in place at this time there is going to be an administration gap and so he is calling for the central government to assume immediate administrative oversight of the city or the capital, I think it’s in order.

“But to call for a declaration of state of emergency over issues that we are aware of, the citizens are well aware of, the agencies that are concerned with such emergencies are all aware of the situation, I think it’s too much to call for and on that note we will disagree with that.”