On June 3, 2015, Ghana woke up to one of its worst natural disasters. A day described as the ‘saddest’ in its history.
What started the night before as a heavy downpour at the center of the country’s capital, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, was aggravated after a nearby fuel station exploded in the downpour, leaving an estimated 154 Ghanaians lifeless whiles scores also sustained varying degrees of burns and injuries.
People had gathered at the state-owned Goil fuel station to seek shelter from the heavy rains when the station exploded killing motorists, workers on duty at the station, and the many passers-by who were hoping to go home after the rains.
Whiles the rain was seen as a natural occurrence, the fire which worsened the situation was later said to have been caused by a cigarette smoker who dropped a lighted stub into water that had oil floating on top of it, myjoyonline.com reported in August 2015.
Whether he was aware there was fuel on top of the flood waters or not is not clear to us so we have asked the security agencies to investigate properly and come to a conclusion on that matter,” Chairman of the committee set up by the president, Mr Justice Isaac Delali Dotse said.
“Five houses including the Goil Filling Station suffered various degrees of damage as a result of the fire. The properties are valued at 1,658,847 (over $428,000).’‘ the report said.
Floods in Ghana’s capital, especially in the month of June is not a new phenomenon. Actually the first documented flood in the same location was on June 3rd, 1959, exactly 56 years before this sad incidence.
Sadly, it appears no serious measures have been put in place to avert any such future occurrences. Floods continue to be a regular occurrence, and governments continue to be irresponsible. The vicious cycle of governments in power only being competent at spending money on elections, and opposition parties being petty and empty, still continues unabated.