Source: GNA - An emotional statement on Thursday by Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, Majority Chief Whip in Parliament on Wednesday’s floods in Accra and the consequent explosion of a filling station, which claimed numerous lives sent the Legislature grieving.
Contributions from both sides lamented the disaster, which happened near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle after the waters of the downpour ran into a filling station...
Obviously taken aback by the disaster and the hush- hush talks among members, and the rain still continuing well into the late morning, the announcement of the arrival of the Speaker, “Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker, was done close to 12 noon.
The Speaker appeared without sporting a tie, which was usually in black, but had the gown on, and said the prayers for the day before proceedings for the day began.
After the corrections of the votes and proceedings of the previous day, Mr Doe Adjaho consented to a request by Alhaji Mubarak, who is also the Member of Parliament for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, to vary the order of business for the day.
With a heavy heart, the Asawase Legislator, in an extempore statement, extended the condolence of the House to fellow dear countrymen over the disaster, underlining the need to do whatever is necessary to ease the pain of the bereaved.
“It is sad to note that the numbers keep rising from 75, 96, 100, and 150 bodies are reported dead. It is sad to see a mother with a nursing baby clutching to the mother. The day is one of the saddest days in Ghana,” Alhaji Mubarak said, adding, “It is one of the biggest disasters in the country.”
He appealed to fellow legislators to de-politicise the disaster, and urged for a pause to ponder over what could be done to avoid a recurrence.
Alhaji Muntaka described the flood and the disaster as a wakeup call improve sanitation, and to stop throwing garbage in the drain and not to site buildings at unauthorized places.
“I believe God is waking us up with these numbers, and to wake up and say, “Enough is enough.”
He called on the nation to adopt strong safety measures and make it a first point of caution on entering into buildings as is done in Trinidad and Tobago.
In a contribution, Mrs Irene Naa Torshie Addo, First Deputy Minority Chief Whip, and MP for Tema West, recounted how she nearly lost her life the previous night by attempting to rescue a 12 year child in the constituency.
She also told the House that a fellow legislator, Ms Freda Akosua Prempeh also nearly lost her life as she battled with the flood waters the last night.
“It is about time we come together to take this flooding issue serious,” Mrs Addo said, and suggested an agency, other the National Disaster Management Organisation to attend to incidents as floods.
Mr Fritz Baffour, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior in a passionate mood, went down memory lane and recalled a similar flood in the Accra Metropolis in 1995, when Ghanaians declared “Never Again” to such floods.
He however queried: “Are we doing our best to change our ways?” and urged Ghanaians to do “our damnest best” to avoid such incidents.
Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, held his grief stricken colleagues spellbound as he discussed the disaster with very strong emotion.
The House observed a minute silence for the lost souls and later visited Nima, where the water had swallowed a number of vehicles and the disaster scene at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.