Ho floods now taking lives; how did we get here? King Norbert asks


A five-old kindergarten boy met his untimely death in Ho, after heavy rains hit the Volta Regional Capital on Friday.

The deceased Nicholas Attah in the company of his mates slipped off a log bridge while crossing home from school. His mates, most of whom are of the same age, stood helpless as their friend battled with the strong surfs of the water gushing through the drains.

After several hours of  a search by a rescue team made up of personnel from the Ghana Fire Service and NADMO, the lifeless body of Attah was found in the drains near Ho Polyclinic, off the Ho-Aflao road several kilometers from the Ho Seventeen suburb, where he was said to have been carried away by the flush floods.

The rains, which started in the late afternoon lasted for about two hours with drains overflowing and flooding some major streets within the city. Commuters on the Ho –Aflao road had a difficult time crossing the bridge near the Ho Polyclinic, while residents were left stranded at both ends after sections of the road were disconnected by the waters. Homes and shops along the storms drains were all flooded.

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In fact, the destruction of the flood as captured by citifmonline.com were really disturbing.

 This flood cannot be solely attributed to the natural cause of excessive downpour of rain water, but rather, undesirable human activities.

And to think of a situation of this sort in a city which prides itself as one of the cleanest and properly planned in the country, one would want to question what really went amiss.

A bird eye view of Ho highlights a valley city bounded by the Weta hills and Adaklu Mountains with the terraced rain forest over the hills, receding into the main township. Seasonal streams flow from uphill to downstream through drain storms without major devastation to properties or residents.

But recent activities of humans and urbanization is making the once upon a time safe city, flood-prone. 

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Ho is one of the fastest developing cities in Ghana with a population of about 177,281 representing 8.4 percent of the region’s total population according to 2010 census.

With such an increasing population, it’s no doubt the City is faced with a myriad of challenges in managing such expansions. Challenges such as improper disposal of waste, non-compliance to building regulations or land-use planning and inadequate provision of some basic social services such as potable water, are glaring for all to see.

The green belt of Ho along the catchment areas of the water bodies which supports the ecological system are under siege. Human induced activities such as uncontrolled felling of trees, human settlements, urbanization along the hills, have reduced the vegetation cover and further exposed the city to the runoffs from the hills causing erosion.

 It is common now to see in Ho the indiscriminate disposal of waste, building of houses or structures on waterways, as well as ineffective town planning; and choked drains posing a looming danger. These are evident in the drains at Civic Center, Anlokordzi, Leprosarium, Housing and Ho Technical University.

Recently in the news, we the heard the concerns of the Volta Regional Minister Dr. Archibald Letsa over the leasing of strategic lands to private individuals for development, which he said is not only a threat to the security of government officials, but also to the ecological system that supports our very existence.

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“Could you envisage, Members of the Press, herein gathered and fellow citizens, assuming each of these persons allotted land decides to erect their structures or do whatever businesses, the entire vicinity would be turned into a slum of buildings at various levels of completion which will not auger well with us especially so with what we know of our planning and maintenance culture. I am reliably informed that the entire enclave supports the municipal ecology in view of the conservation of the enclave over the years. Premised on the foregoing, it is my candid view that this exercise if carried through will sharply distort this ecological advantage” he lamented.

My concerns are heightened because our elders do say that if your neighbor’s house is on fire, the best thing to do is to fetch water beside yours.  We all have been witnesses to the devastating effects of floods that have led to the loss of hundreds of lives in our national capital, Accra.

I am sure you cannot afford to be apathetic in fighting this looming danger in our regional capital. There is the obvious need to devise policy guidelines and to effectively plan the growing town to ensure the well-being of inhabitants.

We lost a child on Friday, and we are mourning. May we not cry for the same reasons tomorrow. 

Today may be Nicholas Attah, God forbids it happens to any other family.  

Yes; it is sad we have reached this state; but let us not allow the indiscipline and the indecency to escalate. Things can only change if we change our attitudes as a people.

My condolence to the bereaved family; let the recent happenings awake us all. The drainage system must be improved, officials of the Municipal Assembly including the town and country department must be seen working; lets enforce the rules without fear or favour.

By: King Norbert Akpabli/citifmonline,com/Ghana



Published on 20 June 2017 | 9:00 am at Source