The Ghana Meteorological Agency has confirmed that the rainfall experienced in Ho, the Volta Regional capital, on July 8, 2023, was the highest recorded in a single day in the past 20 years.
With 189.2 mm of rainfall, it surpassed previous records of 153.4 mm in 2006 and 135.2 mm in 2003, according to Mr Michael Adu Awuku, Volta Regional Director of the Agency.
Mr Awuku urged the residents of Ho to prepare for more rain as the country enters the peak of the rainy season. He cautioned that due to the lack of windstorms during the recent rainfall, the soil had become more saturated, increasing the risk of flooding even with minimal rainfall.
He advised people living in flood-prone areas to move to higher grounds for their safety.
The Director attributed the widespread flooding to the poor drainage system caused by people dumping waste into the gutters, obstructing the flow of runoff water.
He also expressed concern about the impact of deforestation on the weather patterns in the region, explaining that the area no longer receives localized weather and that most rains originate from neighbouring countries.
Mr. Hope Smith Lomotey, Volta Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, emphasized the historical significance of the July 8 rainfall, noting that it was the heaviest ever recorded. He highlighted the role of climate change, occurring once every 100 years, in contributing to the recent disaster.
However, he also emphasized the detrimental impact of human activities such as building structures in watercourses, dumping waste into drains and waterways, and the removal of natural buffers.
Mr Lomotey called for a change in attitudes and behaviours that harm the environment and recommended mitigation and adaptation measures to address climate change, including environmental greening and the protection of wetlands as natural flood absorbers.
He urged residents to take precautionary measures for their safety during the peak rainy season and appealed to those who had built-in waterways to relocate to safer areas.
An octogenarian resident of Ho Bankoe, Ametsitsi Korsi, described the rainfall as unprecedented and called on authorities to take necessary actions to prevent future occurrences.