Mr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, the mayor of the City of Accra and currently Africa’s best mayor, has had his fair share of happy days, like the one depicted in the above video clip. But the happy days seem to be over. One of the reactions to the June 3 disaster is the call for Vanderpuije to resign from his position as the mayor of the capital city of Ghana. Some have even suggested that he be arrested and charged with manslaughter!
Flooding is an all-too-familiar event in Accra, especially in the rainy season. It happens every year, and it could be mild or devastating, depending on the year.
The causes too are well known: illegal structures on waterways, a poorly designed drainage system that has outlived its usefulness, inadequate maintenance, etc. How can the sacking of Vanderpuije eliminate all these factors?
Ticking Time Bomb
Indeed June 3 was a ticking time bomb with a very long fuse. The ticking started even before Vanderpuije was born.
We raised the red flag on countless occasions; we discussed the issue on TV and radio talk shows; we even volunteered to clean up gutters, while petitioning the powers that be to find a permanent solution. Without pointing the finger at anyone in particular, successive administrations or governments have not done enough to tackle this problem.
The aftermath of this horrendous tragedy is hardly the time to play the blame game. 6/3 is a huge lesson that we learned the hard way. If the horrific deaths of over 150 Ghanaians did not make us change our attitudes to nation building, nothing else will.
I humbly declare that the best way to honour the victims of the June 3 catastrophe is to start rebuilding Ghana, not just Accra, in line with modern standards of Urban Planning, to guarantee the safety of the people, proper use of the land, protection of the environment, etc.
Mr. Vanderpuije certainly did not play any role in the design of Accra’s drainage infrastructure, which is nothing more than a network of gutters that has become a menace to the citizens of Accra. The system was doomed right from the onset.
Demanding the resignation of Alfred Vanderpuije is a bad call because an individual couldn't have possibly caused a calamity of such magnitude. Besides - let’s face it - this was a disaster waiting to happen!
Written by: Theo Acquah
No Independence After Six Decades
Ten Reasons to be Happy about Ghana
The Name "Ghana" is a Misnomer!
The Shy Eagle
The CK Gyamfi Lesson
Cocoa: A Truly Golden Tree
Medical Vacation Not the Answer