Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Statement ably made by the Hon Member.
Mr Speaker, this is also to say that the issue of flooding has become perennial, the extent to which we have commented on these issues every day, every year and any time it does happen.
I think that the challenge has to do with the way our cities are planned. It is obvious that the Town and Country Planning Department in most of these District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies have most often not seen as part and parcel of policy interventions and decision-making at their Assemblies. There are many Assemblies you go to and you would find the Town and Planning Department Offices completely insulated
from any structure of the Assembly and even on paper, they do not take decisions in consultation with this important state institution that has a responsibility to help plan our cities and towns.
It is also important for us to begin looking at ways where traditional authorities who have the authority to sell lands to those who develop them, to do that in consultation with the authorities at either the District, Municipal or Metropolitan Assemblies.
Most of the communities we live in, when they plan those communities, they would identify areas that people can put up structures, areas for social centres, and even areas for schools and places of convenience. Within the next one or two years, those same areas which were identified for certain important structures would be sold to people who would want to develop them.
The Hon Member in her Statement did indicate, the siting of a fuel station at a particular place which ought not to have been accepted. The consequence of this is not only to even aggravate the flooding situation but it is also dangerous for the life of people who live around those areas.
Mr Speaker, it is common to walk in town, you would find it extremely strange why people would allow fuel stations to be located in places where indeed people live, and that is extremely dangerous. I think that the earlier we did something about it the better.
The strange thing in this country sadly is that, we most often implement before we plan. When you implement before you plan, the consequences would be enormous for you to contain, and I think that has been the challenge.
It is not an issue of every year the National Disaster Management
Organisation (NADMO) rushes in to assist victims of flood. I believe that if we put the necessary mechanism in place to ensure that even structures that ought not to be where they have to, are removed, I think it would help us. I realise that most often, when those structures are being demolished we are concerned. This is because people indeed would have put up those structures by their life savings.
I believe that if we prevented those structures being put there, we would not have these problems of people rushing in to either take advantage of it. It can be political, social, or even moral.
I believe that if we begin to plan our cities well, respect the Regulations governing the way our cities are built, I think we would be able to avoid some of these challenges we have.
With these few words, I associate myself with the Statement ably made by the Hon Member.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.