The head of the centre for settlement studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Divine Ahadzie, is predicting that Ghana could experience another major flooding incident similar to the June 3, 2015 disaster in the next few years if concrete measures are not taken to tackle flooding.
He says as a result of the country’s inefficiencies in addressing housing needs, the flooding situation has become worse.
In recent times, lives are lost each year as properties are destroyed due to floods.
Professor Ahadzie says available data shows that the country’s flood preparedness is not getting any better.
He is thus calling on government to put measures in place in order to prevent flooding incidents that could potentially lead to the loss of many lives that can be likened to the June 3, 2015 disaster.
“13 regions across the 16 in Ghana experienced flooding in 2021, and that should be worrying for us. Typically, the peak of the rainy season is July. But what we experienced in 2021 was in November including the tidal waves that happened at Keta and Ketu South in November 2021. If any of you recall, in 2022, we had a similar trend, although it was not at such a degree. So, the picture it is painting is that, through our inefficiencies in housing, flooding is becoming a national problem for all of us”.
He added, “Currently, Ghana experiences major floods every two years for the last two years. If you recall, just a few weeks ago, we recorded a flooding incident at Anloga Junction. Last year was a bit silent. What is clear is that, our preparedness is not getting any better. The June 3, 2015 incident is equivalent to what we call the 10-year return period storm. The question we need to ask is, the ten years is approaching, what it means is that, the incident can happen anytime. It could be this year, next year, it could be the following year”.
Ghana’s housing challenges
Ghana’s housing challenges are enormous. The situation keeps getting worse as no concrete measures have been put in place to comprehensively address it.
For researchers in the area of settlement studies, policy makers would have to come up with plans for properly tackling the housing deficit in the country.
Citing research being done at his inaugural professorial lecture at KNUST, the head of the centre for settlement studies at the University, described Ghana as a failed state in terms of housing, challenging politicians to design strategies to address the issue.
He says studies conducted in many communities in Ghana show that a major housing challenge people are facing is access to funds to get decent spaces.
He is thus advocating for policy makers to design affordable housing schemes that purposely target the vulnerable who in actual sense cannot afford decent houses.