There is an interesting African proverb about “BEARD” that says “when you see fire in your friend’s beard, get a bowl of water close to yours”. The seriousness in this proverb is that it teaches us TO BE PROACTIVE IN LIFE! To anticipate problems, hazards and disasters; plan for early warning systems, design and implement adaptation, mitigation, and resilience strategies and frameworks! These are all just a combination of “INNOCENT WORDS” which mean nothing for the city authorities, I KNOW!
Read Also: Accra floods: World Bank intervenes with $200m
Read Also: KOD surprises Police man who carried school children on his back during floods…
Whenever Accra floods, I am ASHAMED as a trained Urban Planner—Though I have remained in the academia without official practice (except for some minimal consultancy services, the reports of which end up in one shelf or the other, only to gather dust !!!). But all hope is not lost! We can get rid of BOTH “THE BEARD” AND “THE WATER” in Accra! We can do that by some (but not limited to) of the following:
1. Agitation for a change in the leadership of the city;
2. Integrated and participatory urban planning that brings all the relevant institutions on board
3. A re-visit to the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) strategic plan prepared some years back, update it and design an implementation framework for it;
4. Start implementing the above gradually, BUT RELIGIOUSLY;
5. Stop the “quick-fix” solutions such as DEMOLISHING AND FORCED EVICTION;
6. Stop reducing urban planning to “RADIO TALK SHOW” where everybody talks and after that returns to “BUSINESS AS USUAL”
Okay friends; let’s see how far we can go with “THE BEARD” AND “THE WATER” annually without any help. Enjoy a fruitful day without the “BEARD” AND “WATER”.