Playing In The Rain

IMG_20130824_011912 The rains have started again and as usual in Ghana we are always inadequately prepared for the effects of rain. Rain is water and water forms over seventy percent of the earth’s covering which means that man is in constant battle to have dry land on which to live and survive as a habitat. there are countries like japan and Hong Kong and the Koreas among others who are wholly surrounded by water. There is even a continent that is totally surrounded by water and that is Australia. These developed countries are constantly thinking of situations and scenarios of what they can do should the water levels in their surroundings rise and this is even more so in recent times when we are told that there is global warming and the ice caps are melting which means that more land is being claimed by water although subtly.


In the award winning documentary movie, An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, former vice president of the United States, now turned environmentalist, he points out the global effects of the melting of the ice caps and global warming and even traces how some of the animals of millions of years ago have become extinct due to climate change. The seriousness of the situation and the research that went into that documentary and the number of experts consulted on the subject of global climate change led to Al Gore being given the award for his work on that piece.

In our African situation, it is said that if you want to hide anything from the African put it in a book. Unfortunately this saying is quite true because very few Africans on the continent make it a point to know about what happens around the world and would rather listen to what the international news media are churning out. So you find for example a highly Ghanaian sitting in a typical African community and believing tales from a news report that is skewed on the history of that same community he lives in when all he can do is to go to his grandmother or grandfather delve into the authenticity of the news story and write on it (true story). but since we love movies too, we only watch them for their entertainment value and not for the social lessons these movies hold. That is why the Al Gore story is seen as a documentary and is not a thriller movie like the Bourne Series or any Tom Cruise or George Clooney movie. Documentaries are boring so don’t cut it. We would rather watch telenovelas. And you are surprised we got so many series and televovelas on our screens now more than ever?


So the rain schedule for Africa has changed and so has the weather. It is colder nowadays than ever. With our last minute attitudes we have not prepared for the rains and yet again due to inadequate drainage and bad housing planning, areas are flooded again leading to the displacement of people and properties. it is now that civil society and stakeholders now chopping big per diems to attend conferences and talk shops on how to deal with the flooding in the country. Whilst they sit in the air-conditioning drinking tea and just talking to their familiar selves, the rain pours outside destroying homes and displacing people and property. Ghana my motherland indeed!


When we were children we used to love the pools of rain water that were stagnant in areas for a few days. There were less people and the population in the cities was not that much so housing systems did not block out the flow of water in the gutters. Every time it rained i remember as children we used to do paper boats and race them in these gutter waters. The one thing i learnt about water will always find its way no matter how you prevent it from flowing. There is the story told of one sports celebrity who had to use one of his expensive cars to break down his own wall for the water accumulating in his house to flow out so his house doesn’t get flooded. We were taught by our parents to avoid the very big gutters that always flowed into the lagoon or directly into the sea.


The rains are here and the one thing I love watching is the children who play in the rain waters in the streets of Tamale. i get nostalgic in these moments so one day when we were playing basketball and it started raining, we the adults decided to throw caution to the wind and play sogging wet basketball in the rain. Oh my God! It was fun sploshing about skidding on the court and chasing the basketball all over the court.


The national disaster management and other stakeholders are doing their very best to curb the effects of rain flooding all over the country but it is always a plan deferred until the last minute when the rainy season starts and it is not good enough. People should be educated on disaster management, example to keep drainage flowing and not choked and not totally depend on the civil organizations to provide amenities. Disaster management especially flooding depends on educating ourselves on what is going worldwide and how other countries are dealing with it. it is a global phenomenon and we in Ghana have to be prepared for it. We can only be prepared if we take preventive measures before the event sets in. it may not avert the disaster but it can minimize its effects.

Let’s prevent this:


Like I always say it begins with YOU!!

#Tamale Chronicles

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