Divisional Chief of Gbetsile community under the Kpone Traditional Area, Nii Teye Kojo Amankwa Sune I, has alarmed over the recent torrential rains which have caused extensive flooding in several low-lying areas at Gbetsile, the fast developing community in Kpone Katamanso Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region.
The worrying development which had informed the decision of Nii Teye Kojo Amankwa Sune I and his kinsmen to send the save of soul (SOS) call to government President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Kpone Katamanso Municipal Assembly to immediately take flood risk reduction projects and measures in Kpone-Gbetsile to be able to withstand the challenges posed by intense and frequent floods in the area.
According to him, the residents in low-lying areas at Kpone-Gbetsile Gbetsile community especially near the Gbetsile dam has a serious flood problem as a result of lack of storm drainage, building structures on water ways, poor disposal of solid waste often leads to the blocking of drains and drainage systems, preventing flood waters from flowing through the gutters and that over about 30 years, four million people have been affected by floods, resulting in economic damage exceeding billions of Ghana cedis.
Speaking in an interview with Bizzygh.com on Friday October 16, 2020, Nii Teye Kojo Amankwa Sune I stated that hundreds of residents, in the water low-lying areas at Gbetsile have been rendered homeless by the recent rains which poured last week, disrupting lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
According to him, floods have affected some plush houses in the area for which the chief of behalf of the affected residents are calling on the charitable organisations and philanthropists to complement efforts by the government to assuage the challenges faced by the victims.
The chief has, therefore, appealed for humanitarian assistance to lessen the plight of the people in the affected areas within Gbetsile.
He lamented that there were no casualties this year, but bridges and culverts were once again swept away, adding that the rain soaked personal property and industrial material.
Nii Teye Kojo Amankwa Sune I expressed concerns that if the rains persist, it could further cause destructions and push the Gbetsile into a humanitarian crisis.
He blamed the floodis situation on the attitudes of some land developers who illegally bought their lands from the unathorized or miscreant land dealers to build their houses on the water ways without recourse to building laws and regulations.
“In fact these are the problems we are facing in some of the the areas within Gbetseli which was not caused by me, the Gbetsile Mantse, Nii Teye Kojo Amankwa Sune I.
“Some of these places that the residents built their houses are water logged areas and they themselves were preview to the situation before they went ti buy these lands from unauthorized land dealers,” the chief noted.
He stated that plans were underway to sort assistance from the state disaster management organizations and Kpone Katamanso Municipal Assembly to develop risk management programme to manage the environment by way of
moving homes and businesses out of flood prone locations.
“I and people are closely working with the Kpone Katamanso Municipal Assembly to, as a matter of urgency arrest the flooding situation in the area, the chief stressed and assured the residents that measures were in place place to manage the perennial flooding situation.
According to him, his decision to lias with the Assembly was occasioned by the lack of storm drainage system in the area.
He disclosed that the earlier authorities get up to outwit the situation in order to forestall any ensuring danger.
According to him, the flooding situation of Gbetsile has been compounded by the overflowing of its bank of a small dam serving the area.
“I was touring the town and complains were coming that houses are being overtaken by flood water so I called the Assemblyman and instructed my secretary to write a letter to the various organizations in the area to ascertain the level of damage,” he indicated.
” As part of my traditional plans to set up rules and regulations to manage floods in my area, l am about visiting the affected houses to ascertain the extent of damage and see the way forward”, Nii Sune I further noted.
Nii Amankwah indicated that even though no one in the town came to lodge an official complaint but rather he decided to tour the areas and sensitize the residents, adding, “but before then an organization in the area posted bizarre pictures of the quantum of water flowing in the area rendering roads unmotorable.
Nii Amankwah recounted that he sent a delegation of eight member comprising both Christians, Muslims and traditional elders to enquire from the Kpone Katamanso Municipal Assembly as to the way forward on measures to mitigate the plight of the residents which delegation he said was yet to report back to him.
“I will not like to apportion blame but the genesis of the matter is that the lands that the people are complaining about were bought during the dry season despite calls by the elders and land owners of Gbetsile Stool warning that those areas were waterlogged but they declined and went ahead and bought the land.
The chief, however assured the residents that he would continue to collaborate with the Assembly to find a lasting solution to the flooding menace in Gbetsile community.