Major roads leading to the Eastern regional capital Koforidua were severely flooded after downpour on Sunday.
Flooded roads include: Effiduase traffic light stretch of the Koforidua to Bunso highway, the Abrewankwanta stretch of the Koforidua to Suhum highway, the Okorase portion of Koforidua to Mamfe Highway and Akwadum portion of the Koforidua to Suhum Highway.
The floods prevented vehicular movement for many hours creating gridlock untill the flood waters receded at about 9:00pm.
Hundreds of passengers and drivers were stranded.
The floods were caused by overflow of rivers and drainages on the roads.
Few drivers who attempted to bulldoze through the flood waters had their engines damaged.
Goil and shell fuel filling stations in Effiduase traffic light and Abrewankwanta roundabout respectively as well as shops and houses were also flooded.
A mechanic shop at Abrewankwanta was submerged destroying dozens of vehicles under repair.
Due to the situation, commercial drivers traveling outside Koforidua doubled their transportation fares to cover cost of using long winding deplorable alternate routes to their destinations.
The newly constructed bridge on Koforidua to Nyamekrom road which was serving as alternate route to Suhum has also collapsed.
Floods wreak havoc in other parts of the region.
Many parts of the Eastern region were also hit by devastating floods following three days of torrential rainfalls.
Major rivers -Burim, Ayensu and Densu have all overflown its banks submerging homes and roads.
The Kyebi Court Complex, the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) office, the Kibi Presbyterian College of Education, the Kyebi Demonstration school, and some other institutions and homes near the birim river were seriously flooded for the first time in many decades.
It took the intervention of personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service and some volunteers to rescue victims including children trapped in schools, offices and homes.
In one of the videos which captured the incident on Friday and Saturday saw a family including women and children being scaled over a wall by the rescue team.
The wall of Kibi Presbyterian College of Education collapsed. A GETFUND project ongoing on campus was also submerged.
“This is the first time in the anals of the area that Birim has overflown its banks and flooded the upstream. I was born here and did my O-Level at ABUSCO. I have lived here, became assembly member, worked at the Assembly I have never seen Birim river flood the upstream of the river because the volume of water in the upstream is not much to cause flooding it is the tributaries that increase the volume downstream. The cause is blockage by the illegal miners who have diverted the river course in multiple portions” Oteng Adjei, a former assembly member told Starr News.
Reports by officials of the National Disaster Management Organization in the various mining districts indicate more devastations in Denkyembour, Atewa, Fanteakwa South among others.
Meanwhile, about one hundred residents of Amanase in Ayensuano District were on Saturday, October 1, 2022, displaced as river Ayensu also over flooded its banks following days of torrential rainfall.
The floods entered homes, shops and almost submerged significant part of the community.
The Akwadum stretch of the Koforidua to Suhum highway was blocked by severe flood caused by overflow of the Densu river Sunday, October 2, 2022.
A statement by the Ghana Highway Authority- Eastern Region said “all motorists traveling between the DVLA roundabout in Effiduase- Koforidua to Suhum that due to the heavy downpour of rain over the weekend the road is temporarily not passable at the bridge at Akwadum. Motorist from Koforidua to Suhum are advised to turn at the traffic light at the SSNIT Estate to Nyamekrom-Supriso road to Obourtumpan then to Nkatenkwan and link the road back at the outskirts of Akwadum. Motorist from Suhum to Koforidua are to observe this and turn at the outskirts of Akwadum and follow the same route to Koforidua. The inconvenience is deeply regretted.”
A resident at Densuano a community in along the river fears the Dam by the Ghana Water Company Limited in the community may collapse which will be fatal. ”The Dam is submerged, downstream houses are flooded, please inform National disaster management people to get closer to the people downstream for assistance”.
The Densuano Dam was subsequently shut down by the Ghana Water Company Limited.
Already, management of Ghana Water Company Ltd ( GWCL), Eastern region had announced to its “cherished customers and consumers in and around Akyem Oda, Akwatia, Kade and it’s environs that water supply has been interrupted as a result of the shut down of the Akyem Oda Water Supply Treatment Plant. The shutdown is due to flooding of the plant from overflow of water from the Birim River. We are waiting for the flood water to recede and assess the extent of damage to equipment and other installations before resumption of water production. We regret the inconvenience caused” a statement by management said.
Dr. Kwaku Adu, a Lecturer with the faculty of Environment and Conservation at University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES) located in Akyem Bunso said the reality of climate change is being felt hence leadership of the country must be more committed to mitigating the impacts.
He said the scourge of illegal mining and deforestation will worsen the plight of Ghana if urgent resilient measures are not taken to address the situation.