Drainage systems are constructed to ensure that waste water and sewage is transported neatly to disposal points, thereby keeping the environment well drained and free of waste. Examples of components that make up a good drainage system includes; closed ditches having pipe drains, drainage pipes, channels and conduits.Sustainable Drainage Systems are approaches put in place to manage the water quantity (flooding), water quality (pollution) and amenity issues in the environment. Sustainable drainage is a concept that includes long term environmental and social factors in decisions about drainage.
Sustainable Drainage Systems are intended to regulate surface water runoff close to where it falls and simulate natural drainage as closely as possible. They provide opportunities to reduce the causes and impacts of flooding, remove pollutants from urban runoff at source, and combine water management with recreation and wildlife. They also help to enhance water quality while protecting natural flow regimes in watercourses.
In many parts of Ghana today, there is a great need for properly managed sustainable drainage systems in order to help manage surface water runoff. Neighborhoods keep springing up without proper planning, which also involves planning for drainage and sewage or waste disposal. Residents regularly dump their waste in gutters, and this clogs the gutters and prevents the flow of water, causing the gutters to overflow.It is common to see flooded streets with litter floating everywhere after a short period of rainfall. Such situations create very unsanitary conditions for residents of the neighborhoods and contribute to the degradation of the environment.
The poorly maintained NIMA drainage systems and poor waste management habits has adversely affected our environment in the following ways;
1. Flooding: The immediate effects of flooding include loss of human life, damage to property, and loss of livestock.
2. Erosion: The state of the drainage system has cause erosion problems. This has been experienced in many sides of the drainage system where rooms have been washed away and gullies created as a result of flooding.
3. Diseases: Deterioration of health is another effect of flooding, due to the increase in waterborne diseases and unsanitary conditions. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 percent of all deaths worldwide are the result of waterborne diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio that thrive in unimproved sanitation conditions.(Feb 23, 2019)
Stagnation of water occurs when water passages are blocked. This makes the people around the drainage system susceptible to infections from mosquitoes and other insects. We are exposed to numerous air and water borne diseases if we have our environments polluted with stagnant water.
Water related diseases are classified as follows:
− Diseases prevented by washing and bathing (e.g. skin and eye diseases and
− Diseases prevented by clean water supply and sanitation (e.g. typhoid, cholera, and hookworm);
− Diseases acquired by water contact (e.g. schistosomiasis or bilharzia);
− Diseases acquired from bites by water related insects (e.g. malaria, yellow fever and river blindness).The residents surrounding the drainage system are currently in fear and sitting on a time bomb.
I am therefore calling or making an appeal to all the stakeholders involved in the project of NIMA drainage system to kindly complete the drainage system before any occurrence of a disaster.
By: ABDUL GAFFAR SALIFU