SEVEN PEOPLE, mainly children, have been killed after they were swept away by flood waters, following a torrential rainfall which hit Kumasi and other parts of the Ashanti Region, on Thursday evening.
The rains started around 4pm, mainly in communities in the outskirts of Kumasi, the regional capital, and it lasted for about seven hours, which led to the loss of human lives and destruction of property.
Mr. Kwabena Nsenkyire, the Ashanti Regional Director of National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), who confirmed the sad news to DAILY GUIDE, said five of the bodies had been found and two are still missing.
According to him, it rained heavily, mainly, in the communities outside Kumasi but due to choked gutters and construction of buildings in waterways, the water could not flow and that led to the floods, resulting in the deaths.
The paper gathered that some of the deaths occurred at Asebi, in the Asokore Mampong Municipality, Kwadaso, in the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and other places in the Ashanti regional capital.
The rainfall was so heavy that most of the bridges and busy roads in the city were totally submerged by the rising waters, which trapped scores of people and also washed a lot of heavy vehicles away from the roads.
The Kumasi Mayor, Osei Assibey Antwi, had to leave the comfort of his home, as he led a team from the KMA and NADMO to visit the flood-prone areas in the community to help rescue trapped people.
Speaking with DAILY GUIDE, Osei Assibey Antwi warned that all houses, constructed in waterways in the city, would be pulled down by the assembly, to help prevent the reoccurrence of floods in the city.
The KMA Boss disclosed that the assembly had recently demolished seven houses in waterways around the Airport Roundabout area, stressing that a lot of houses are still obstructing the water flow in the city, so they would also be pulled down, immediately.
He said a petrol filling station at Anloga Junction, was submerged by flood waters on Thursday and he had ordered for its temporal closure until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives them the green light to operate again.
Osei Assibey attributed the consistent floods in the city, in recent times, partly to the throwing of waste in drains and unapproved places in the city by recalcitrant residents, indicating that the people need to change their behaviour.
According to him, KMA expended a lot of money to dredge most of the rivers and streams in the city a few months ago, adding that KMA would continue to desilt the streams to help avert floods in the city.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi