It was a dark day in Ghana and the Accra city to be exact.The wenesday's tragic incident which killed 170 people at the Kwame Nkrumah circle has sent a very huge signal that as a country we need to have a disaster specific management plan.It is however pathetic that we did not even have a strategic mode of reaching out to victims or survivors who might still be kept under wreckage after being swept away by the streaming flood.At least an official twitter handle could do the trick.Do we know where to send relief items to?Just yesterday numerous calls were made to NADMO to no avail.The twitter handle could be used to solicit for support for victims and survivors and to rebuild the lost properties and at least help heal the soaring wounds in the hearts of victims.
Please pause and listen to a survivor's story;
“When the explosion happened, the hot air from the gas blew me away and I fell into the rushing floods that were carrying lots of properties. The water then carried me along with the debris for about two hundred metres before I finally grabbed a pole…indeed I was determined that I won’t allow the rushing waters to carry me away since the Odaw river is the final destination for all things carried by the water.”
Though carpet seller Richard Duful, popularly known as ‘Oluman’ survived the accident, he lost his brother who minutes before his miraculous escape was engaged in conversation with him.
Oluman said his late brother Joe informed him that he and several others were losing their carpets to the floods and it was therefore imperative that they move them to safety.
As someone who was in the carpet business with guys who also hail from the same town as himself, he hurriedly alerted the rest to save their wares.
“In the process of taking out the carpets from the room, we realized we couldn’t help again as the waters were rising, so we all decided to rather save our lives…and while we stood under a shed close to the filling station, we started chatting about certain pertinent life issues…,” he narrated.
Oluman told further that it was in the middle of their conversation that ‘we were informed by a friend that there is fire which was moving towards our direction from the Odawna Market’. Less than a minute later the fire, he added, reached their location consuming various items in its wake.
“The flood waters that had engulfed the surroundings were oily as leaked petrol and diesel from the filling station where we had taken shelter from the rains floated on the water.”
Thus according to him, he and others had difficulty trying to walk in the rushing waters to another side due to how heated the flood water was. In less than two minutes of the announcement, the fire reached the filling station and an explosion occurred killing almost everyone who had taken shelter at the location.
“I didn’t see anything again, all I could see was that I had been blown into the waters by the heated winds from the explosion and the floods started carrying me away”.
he determination to survive, he added, made him try as much as possible to keep his head above the waters to avoid drowning.
“Finally after being dragged along for close to two hundred metres, I was able to hold on to something and started pulling myself up from the floods to safety…,” he narrated.
The man who was almost in tears said after ensuring his safety, he began frantically looking for his brother through the blazing fire.
“The fire was still raging at the filling station and that was when I became convinced that everyone in there had lost his life…and I knew my brother was part of them…,” he said in a sorrowful mood.
Unfortunately, his brother was not the only one dead as approximately a hundred persons were killed in the fire outbreak. Several others also lost their lives through the floods, with countless ones injured. Persons who died through the filling station fire, he recounted included passengers in a Benz Bus that was filling up with fuel before continuing on their journey.
Oluman was full of praise to the Almighty God for his survival, and he is sure the Lord who rescued him would help him recover fully from the injuries he sustained.
“I am not leaving Accra for my hometown because I lost valuables and a dear brother, I would continue to fight on and make a living here…,” he told Kwaku Nti.