Former President John Agyekum Kufuor says the recurring flooding situation in Accra and other parts of the country, is to be blamed on the failure of successive administrations to sustain projects when governments change hands.
The former president says this canker is not only to be blame for the recurring floods but has also stagnated the growth of the country in many other areas.
Speaking at the launch of a support fund by TV3 to raise GH¢10 million, to support victims of the recent flooding and fire disaster that has killed nearly 200 people, injured others and rendered many homeless, the former President said this must be a wake-up call for the country to ensure a sustained development agenda.
“Let me begin by declaring my solidarity with all the bereaved in this national strategy. It is indeed a sad reflection on the state of maintenance and the general lack of continuity in our development process as a nation that has brought us to where we are. Perhaps, this is the worst tragedy that this nation has experienced in recent times. Whiles the tragic loss of lives in last week’s rain could be unprecedented, the cause that led to it are not new. Flooding has been with us for a very long time indeed; in fact stretching to before independence. Whiles various governments have done their bits to resolve the problem, the events of last week, clearly and shamefully exposed the nation as not having done enough to achieve a sustainable solution.
“And I am not talking politics here; but let me recall that during the second republic of Professor Kofi Busia, an elaborate drainage system was initiated in Bukom in the central part of Accra. The objective was for it to have been exponentially expanded to cover the entire growing national metropolis of Accra. Unfortunately and sadly, immediately he was removed from power, the project was discontinued. We were also all witnesses to the various attempts at clean-up and dredging of choked drains during the Rawlings era. In my time, one of the major storm drain projects was constructed through Alajo and its surrounding areas.
“The current government has also been contributing to the efforts with the regular pulling down of structures on waterways to make way for the free flow of water in order to stop flooding as has happened. But fellow mourners, whiles the various governments have acted with the interest of the people in mind, what is lacking is a sustained and coordinated effort at development not only in flood management but in all other facets of our nation growth”.
The former President says this may not be the last of such tragic incidents if the approach to addressing such issues remains unchanged since climate change has affected the weather patterns.
“The current disaster must be the turning point. As tragic as it may be, worst could befall us if we do not begin to put our house in order as a nation”.
Mr. Kufuor appealed to Ghanaians to contribute generously to the TV3 June 3 Disaster Support Fund to assist victims of the disaster.
“I want to thank TV3 for inviting me to be part of this launch and I join the initiators of this solemn event in urging all citizens of Ghana to join hands in this effort of national healing This we can do by donating cash and by offering expertise and other resources.
“To the families who lost their loved ones, I pray that they strengthen their faith in God and be consoled. I also want all of us to know that God’s ways are not our ways. Let me add my voice in appealing for funds and also to say that contributors must appreciate that their contributions are being done as a national duty and also as a humanitarian duty. We must learn to be each others’ keeper.”