Exactly a year ago, the country was hit with a tragic occurence; a fire and a flood that took many lives, disfigured some and rewrote the destiny of hundreds more. That was the first time a lot of us has seen fire and water work together aggressively and the disaster these elements left in their wake had the whole country reeling from the shock of it all.
As is common in Ghanaian politics, promises were made; some of which were fulfilled and others which are yet to see the light of day (I use “yet” because we are in an election year and anything can happen). You know what I hear as I write this article, exactly a year later? The drum the raindrops beat on the roof of my office. A year along the line, the rains have started again and it seems nothing has been done to avoid the recurrence of possible tragedy. Gutters are still spill over after minor showers because they’re still chocked even though the rains are not even as consistent as before (making the meteorological service very redundant ion my opinion). No one has asked me, but if I had to single out a major cause of last year’s floods, I’d point to the roadside vendors.
Now I’m not trying to badmouth anyone’s hustle, but pay attention to the set up of the Koko lady in your neighbourhood or the Kelewele seller at your junction; all they need lately to sell food is some space, an ice chest or some containers, a table, some white net covers and you’ve got your business running. It doesn’t take much, doesn’t cost much but it creates one hell of a mess. School lets out for the day and their most loyal customers arrive in throngs; starving school kids who can’t wait to get home to eat…you get the picture.
Not to be a prophetess of doom or anything but even if there is nothing as feared as huge fire this time around, it doesn’t mean that other things like a disease outbreak cannot show it’s ugly head. We’re in Africa, and owing to our tropical zone (which is perfect breeding environment for disease-causing organisms) it doesn’t take much for there to be an epidemic in one place or the other. Many times cholera and typhoid have broken out. It’s not a particularly rare happening.
Ghana lost a lot last year because of the negligence of our leaders and it would be sad if we allowed space for another disaster this year. Let it not be another avoidable national disaster that has us pressing our black and red funeral cloths.