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Chiefs say Gomoa East flooding due to contractor's refusal to pour libation

The recent severe flooding in the Okyereko area of the Accra-Winneba highway, which has left numerous homes underwater, has been linked to a contractor's attempt to divert the course of a river, according to Robert Hackman, Gomoa East District Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

The incident, which began on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, also resulted in over 150 homes in Gomoa Mampong being flooded

This diversion overwhelmed a small bridge, resulting in significant damage and disruption.

During an interview with Accra-based Joy News, Mr. Hackman detailed that the blockage of another bridge by the contractor further exacerbated the extreme volume of water entering the bridge.

He clarified that the flood resulted from the confluence of three rivers, which the contractor had diverted into a single channel.

Some traditional leaders and residents have speculated that the failure to perform customary libation rituals before commencing the project contributed to the disaster.

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"These three rivers, as some residents and the Nananom (traditional leaders) say, don’t like each other, and that has created this flooding," Mr. Hackman noted.

Despite no rainfall in Gomoa for the past three days, the contractor, who was advised to pour libation on the three rivers to prevent such incidents, did not follow through. Traditional leaders and the chief priest are now present and awaiting guidance on performing the libation.

The flooding incident occurred when a contractor working on the Kasoa-Cape Coast highway blocked the main bridge over the Ayensu River last Wednesday. The Ayensu River, one of the Central Region's largest rivers, originates from the Eastern Region and crosses the Kasoa-Cape Coast Highway at Gomoa Okyereko before flowing into the sea.

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The contractor had blocked the main bridge to construct a modern structure capable of handling the river's water volume.

At the scene, Mr. Hackman described the devastation, stating,

"Currently, I’m at the scene, and it is an eyesore. Yes, 200 houses are indeed submerged, and three have collapsed. Thank God no one has been hurt."

Those affected by the flood are temporarily sheltering at the Church of Pentecost in Gomoa.

Mr. Hackman clarified that the bridge causing the current flooding is an old structure, distinct from the main Ayensu bridge which the contractor diverted.

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He has urged the contractor to unblock the bridge to allow the river to flow through both structures, which should help alleviate the flooding.

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