A geoscientist, Professor Emmanuel Arhin, has called for pragmatic measures to reduce the impact of flooding in the country and minimise its negative health effects on the lives of the people.
He explained that floods changed the chemistry of groundwater, which was the basic source of water for household use, while the process also contributed to the outbreak of water-borne diseases.
”When there is flooding most people are concerned about the physical destruction of properties and ignore the most dangerous aspect, the outbreak of diseases which had serious health implications on citizens,” he observed.
Prof. Arhin of the Department of Geographic Science, School of Geo-Sciences, University of Energy and Natural Sciences (UENR) was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani about the rising concerns of floods in parts of the country and their implication on urbanization and health of the populace.
”How long are we going to be in the news? People are dying, and properties worth millions of cedis are being destroyed.
Can we think of the way forward now?” he quizzed and pointed out “the solution starts from the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies who are responsible for the socio-economic developmental needs of the citizenry.
Prof. Arhin said infrastructural development was taking over farmlands and other land use areas while inappropriate land use had become the cause of spatial problems faced by many communities.
He indicated that infrastructural developments could not take place without permits by the Assemblies, saying ”in this era of information technology workers at the assemblies responsible for infrastructural developments cannot say they don’t see developmental projects taking place in the communities”.
Prof. Arhin said as long as people were indiscriminately building anywhere and the Assemblies also issued building permits for fees, they must consider the land cover available and their uses to avoid destruction for the present generation and posterity use.
He emphasized that most of the flooding situations experienced in the country were man-made and not natural disasters, hence the Assemblies should be held accountable.
He, therefore, implored the Assemblies to intensify their monitoring, supervision and evaluation of ongoing developmental projects in their jurisdictions, to bring sanity into the system.
Prof. Arhin expressed the hope that if the Assemblies could prevent uncontrolled, inappropriate and rapid siting of infrastructural development, particularly its prevention on the access and utility routes, issues regarding flooding and other environmental degradation would be minimized.