Water is unforgiving when out of control!#
Some damaged structures caused by the Akosombo dam spillage
“WATER is extremely useful but if it is not tamed it can cause extreme destruction and hardship” and we are currently battling with such a scenario as the spillage from the Akosombo Dam wreaks havoc that will take years or even decades to come to terms with the long-term effects.
If you live in Accra, which is the capital of inflation and enjoyment (all rolled into one) then you are conversant with the annual ritual of flooding and media reportage of “once again torrential rains have hit the Accra Metropolis…………….a team of ministers, NADMO officials have visited the site to ascertain the impact on….”-GNA. Unfortunately history repeats itself.
What is happening in areas affected by the spillage is unthinkable and devastating. Have we learnt any lessons and are we planning ways of doing this better should the need arise? ‘
Could we have set up equipped camps before asking people to relocate?
What is the impact especially on children who have to leave their home under such circumstances? There are more questions than answers but as always the Ghanaian in us has risen up to the challenge.
What are some of the immediate challenges as we clean up?
1. Electrocution – put off power sources. Leave it to professionals to determine when it is safe to switch power on
2. Look out for broken bottles, nails, metals and other sharp objects that may injure you. Wear appropriate safety boots etc. or leave it to those who are trained.
3. Avoid contact with insects and animals. There may be many stray animals with diseases such as rabies
4. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water as often as needed and wear protective gloves and other clothing if possible
5. If you are unsure of an area avoid it until professional help is available
The Painful Reality of Flooding
1. Economic Loss
a. Destruction of property in this case is extreme and it has brought economic activity to its knees. People are too busy surviving to think about business now.
2. Environmental Challenges
a. Damaged farmlands and fish farms will bring about economic hardships for farmers as stored food and farm products may be destroyed. These losses will eventually hit the pockets of even those who live several miles away.
3. Effect on humans
a. Fortunately for us no life lost has been linked directly to this flooding BUT what about days and months as the unfortunate drama unfolds?
a. Floods will always leave a myriad of diseases in its trail, both immediate and long-term. Infectious diseases will have a field day and these include; common cold, food poisoning, cholera, typhoid and Hepatitis A. Then malaria will show its ugly head too.
b. The physical and mental impact on our health is often ignored but anyone who has been a victim of the effects of a flood will tell you that they experience shock, anxiety, fear, sadness, anger and physical symptoms such as headaches and general body pains. It sounds to me as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Your guess is as good as mine, the effects are most devastating in children. Fortunately there are plans to engage psychologists, counsellors and other professionals to assist.
We all know by now how unforgiving water is when not managed appropriately. Many individuals and businesses are supporting the move to bring some sanity to those affected. What can we do as well?
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/ Mobissel
*Dr. Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise. He is the author of the award-winning book, ‘Unravelling The Essentials of Health & Wealth.’
Thought for the week – “If it takes you 10 minutes to take a bath, about 3 women in the world would have been diagnosed with breast cancer by the time you are done; think about that. Remember that though rare, men too may get breast cancer.”
I look forward to interacting with you at The La Palm Royal Beach Hotel Corporate Healthy Lifestyle Programme on Saturday 28th October 2023 at 6am.
Let’s walk, exercise, network and share ideas that will keep us healthy.
1. Impact of floods in Ghana and the way out – bentil Asafo-Duho
2. WHO – flooding and communicable diseases
3. Journal of water and health – 2009
By Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel