afrol News, 17 June - The heavy rainfalls over southern Ghana are continuing and are now threatening key industries in the south-eastern city Tema. The Tema Oil Refinery is close to collapse and Ghana's fuel distribution may be interrupted. In Accra, the floods continue to displace residents.
The floods have already displaced thousands of residents of the capital Accra and caused four deaths. Property worth millions of cedis, including homes, schools and business premises have been destroyed as a result. Accra and Ghana's second largest central city, Kumasi, so far had been the most affected areas.
Now, the continued heavy rainfalls threaten to have even heavier consequences for the Ghanaian economy as the industrial centre Tema is seriously under the threat of floods due to the poor drainage system of the city.
The entire yard of the Tema Oil Refinery was already flooded, according to the 'Ghanaian Chronicle'. Key parts of the refinery were already inoperative. Management sources told the newspaper they "feared that the recent floods and the occasional shutdowns of the refinery can lead to fuel shortages on the market this week or subsequent weeks, if swift measures are not taken to check the problem."
Swift measures were however not expected as the drainage that collects all liquid waste and rain water has been blocked by the recent construction of tanks by the Korean company, S. K. Engineering Company Limited.
Also the Tema Municipal Assembly was not expected to help, as the 'Accra Mail' reported. Local authorities had not done any work on the drains and were not doing it. The city's big drains were "choked with weeds and filth while developers, possibly factory owners have built structures and walls over some of the drains," the Ghana News Agency reported from Tema.
International Tema-based companies like Nestle Ghana Ltd and Japan Motors Ltd were doing their own maintenance to prevent damages to their investments. Also locally owned factories were hiring people to prevent damages.
Floods are an annual event in coastal Ghana and the amount of rains is decisive to whether they will cause damage. Over the last decade, floods have however tended to cause increased damage. This is more related to the poor maintenance of the cities' drainage systems and an uncontrolled urban growth than to heavier rains, Ghanaians observe.
The city of Tema was built in 1960 as a manmade harbour and is located in southeast Ghana. Tema is considered the "heart of the country's development." Its economy is predominately based on industry and fishing. The city's heavy industrial area is one of Ghana's most important.
Sources: Based on
press reports and afrol archives