Last Friday, heaven opened its doors and there was a torrent. Though, relatively this can hardly be described as a torrent because it poured for only two hours. It cannot be compared with the countries that had experienced three days of continuous downpour such as Brazil and Madagascar. However, the report that followed in Monday's edition of the Daily Graphic (DG) indicates that this event, which portends bumper harvest for farmers and for which they have earnestly prayed, has wreak havoc on parts of the Accra, to a scale that is somehow comparable to hurricane Katrina or hurricane Ike--A hurricane from a two-hour downpour. Only in Ghana!
Accra's perennial flooding has come to stay, yet it leaves the confines of our thoughts the very moment the sun unwillingly dries the waters. As the muddy clay dries up and erases every vestige of the havoc the rains wreaked so the memories of its devastation leaves our mind and our actions that caused the problem continues unabated, with renewed eagerness. To pollute and dump indiscriminately comes in vogue again.
It is a pity to see households dumping their rubbish into open drains. Where then do we expect the rains to flow. It is said that you can never eat your cake and have it and you reap what you sow. If we choke our gutters, it is only fair that we get flooded and our belongings get carried away in the flotsam. It is a matter of cause and effect. It is as simple as that. What were we expecting when we were eagerly choking our gutters and drains? That we fill our drains with waste and expect the rains to remove these wastes before they run through or what? I cannot come to terms with our thinking and our actions. If the gutters get choked, they would breed mosquitoes and we would be bitten and we would die; there would be a cholera outbreak and we would be infected and we would die; there would be typhoid outbreak and we would get infected with the bacteria and we would die; there would be floods and we would be carried away together with our prized possessions. Simple. Finito! We can pray five thousand years and we would open our eyes to see that our problems have been multiplied five billion times because we failed to acknowledge the simplicity of the problem. The DG showed pictures of individuals crying over their lost possessions, yet these cries would last only as long as the water level is high. Their tears would soon recede and they would go back into that same house and carry out the very activities that cause the flood to turn their bedrooms into waterways.
People build their houses anywhere and woe be unto any government that muster the courage to bring such houses down, in a sane demolition exercises. That is when we 'human rights' activists begin to rear their ugly heads and begin to define what rights there are. Why then should I pity you if you are the cause of your own problem? We have politicise every event, every activity and have morphed governments into puppets pulling them anywhere we want, and they, power-drunk as they are, would follow suit because in the end they would not be affected by such an atrocity. We bribe our way through even if that parcel of land on which we are eager to raise our mansion is a course for flowing water. The public would question any government that makes it his duty to instill sanity into these activities. Some, whose knowledge of rights and privileges surpasses the propagandists, would start to talk about the right to shelter and the insensitivity of the governments. But should one individual's enjoyment of his right bring destruction and loss to a group of other individuals? Until we staunch that politicisation haemorrhage that has firmly gripped our thinking, development would be as elusive as the fabled alchemists stone reputed to have the ability of transforming every object into gold. Simply put we would not develop; we would move in the circles of inactivity-destruction-talk until the whole country is one day carried away by a great deluge.
In ending, I believe it is high time we spent our time taking action. Let's leave the politics behind us for once. Let's behave like rational human beings, who when faced with problems tackle it from its roots, but not the fabled grasshopper who always procrastinate the building of its home. We need to act as a people with one destiny and not as political animals with as many destinies as there are interests. It is only when we see the suffering of a brother or a sister as ours and think of ourselves in terms of others and of others in terms of ourselves that we can progress as a people--collective development. Let's know that posterity would never leave us alone if our present actions jeopardise their common future.