Ghana’s capital, Accra, will today June 3, 2017, mark the second anniversary of the June 3 flood and fire disaster which killed 159 people.
Many of the victims were seeking shelter at the Circle GOIL Filling Station in Accra which exploded following a gas leakage.
“The disaster exposed Accra as a city unprepared for such calamities; but we have learnt lessons and we hope not to get to those dark days again,” the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, has told the Daily Graphic.
Following the horrific incident, the government solicited the support of the World Bank to undertake “the CityStrength methodology” to understand GAMA’s exposure to risks, level of resilience and performance of urban system.
Launching the report in Accra on Tuesday, Programme Leader for Sustainable Development, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone for the World Bank Ivo Imparato says although there is a platform for cities and investors to meet the challenge of urban resilience, it would take a significant amount of support.
He noted that proactively investing in resilience – prior to the occurrence of a catastrophic event – represents a strategic and cost-efficient shift from past development trends whereby investments were largely mobilized towards recovery and reconstruction post-disaster.
The World Bank rep stated that the World Bank supported the government to carry out a needs assessment right after the floods, which identified $ 105 million re-construction needs in the transport, housing and water sectors alone – reflecting just how quickly disasters
could take away development gains, in addition to their human toll.
A recent World Bank report reveals that Global Average Annual Losses from disasters in the built environment are now estimated at $ 314 billion and can increase to $ 415 billion by 2030..
Currently, Accra is estimated to be home to over 4 million people, it is projected to house over 10 million by 2040.
Mr Sowah expressed concern at the attitude of Accra dwellers on waste generation and management, saying “as we look at floods, we must focus on waste disposal.”
He told Daily Graphic that Accra Metropolitan Assembly was working with the private sector to introduce innovative waste management practices.
He said the assembly would enforce the bye-laws on sanitation, waste management and illegal development, including the siting of filling stations.