“Government tackles flood with GH¢197 million”, “Government donates relief items to flood victims”, “NADMO records 53,000 rendered homeless due to floods”.
These and other headlines flood our media space every year during rains, yet no radical measures to solve our flooding menace exist!
Citizens and successive governments have destroyed the lives of many Ghanaians.
Yes! Governments’ thirst to score political points have cut short the lives of many Ghanaians by not taking the needed actions.
Citizens discard refuse into drains, throw rubbish from moving vehicles, abandon construction waste to gradually find its way into drains, build houses in waterways, yet we blame it all on the government. We are the problem! Just like America’s 9/11, June 3 taught us nothing. Don’t we learn?
I drive and walk by so many places in the nation’s capital and see filth, garbage created by people living in the nation’s capital, even in the central business district.
When are we going to be citizens and not spectators? When will the rich and powerful in society stop bulldozing their way through, breaking the law and bribing the system?
When will all Ghanaians be held to the same standards?
It is alright to be breathing over the shoulders of the government, after all, it is a direct responsibility of the citizens of a country, and we should not be sloppy in our attitudes or our resolve towards the government.
We voted governments into power and it is our common obligation to make sure that they stay on the straight and narrow. While we crucify the government, we lose sight of the fact that the government is a reflection of the people.
How do we expect a government from the people and by the people to be different from the people?
The solution to the perennial flooding in Ghana is not to desilt and dredge the drains every pre-scheduled time, the resolution is to dredge our minds of old thinking and desilt our culture from the pathetic way of living and reasoning, managing waste and the delivery of justice.
We need to educate ourselves on the essence of good sanitation and the value we lose as a nation by treating waste the way we do and living the way we live as a people.
I believe that people don’t need a government, a body or entity that will herd them like sheep or cattle into specific areas where they think it is best and of course, from which they as the government would stand to gain the most out of.
Unfortunately, there is no room in today’s society for such a view since people are not responsible enough to govern themselves, hence the inability to manage the waste we generate.
The government will only create opportunities for its financiers to make money and fund the next political campaign.
Does the new Ghana Education Service’s curriculum designed for our schools influence a change of mind?
Will it teach our students how critical proper sanitation is to a nation’s development?
Will it help in shaping the national psyche to that of a more environmentally sustainable way of living?
Leadership is a long lost word in our society.
Attitudinal leadership is not positional leadership, the ability for one to take full responsibility of one’s self and immediate surrounding and account to one’s self in the same regard.
We have lost all our patriotic efforts and limited it to defending celebrities.
Where are the communal labours we used to have? Where are the town councils?
We haven’t taken responsibility of our own lives. We like to think of the big solutions yet ignore the very realistic, applicable and sustainable way of solving our issues.
Improper management has been a major cause of flooding in this country and can be solved by teaching and encouraging people to micro-manage their waste at the generation points.
There is so much concern about plastic waste being the cause of drain blockages.
We have forgotten how organic waste transmutes into silt, thereby reducing the volumes of water the drains were designed to collect.
Can the government restore the regime of town councils?
Although old, it was a very effective way of dealing with waste and people complied with the law.
Community leaders and influencers must reinstitute community labour.
As a people, we must ensure that the government supports companies that are generating all forms of energy from waste.
These companies need government policies that will ease their operations.
There should be an intentional and compulsory sensitisation in schools and other institutions on waste management.
We must bring to the fore the benefits and values of protecting our environment and saving lives.
It must be a national dialogue in all groups of people.
To you reading, start dredging your mind and desilting your community of bad practices and the irresponsible behaviour of our immediate relations.
Let’s work together to build a nation that is environmentally sustainable, a built environment that is healthy, safe and promotes longevity of its people.
By: Nicholas Solomon