Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, the Mayor of Accra and Africa’s best mayor has commenced the ritual of dusting off his annual “flood speech” after parts of the capital were submerged in flood waters as this year’s first wave of rains set in.
The mayor’s office said the dusting off process may take up to a week because “the speech had been buried underneath a pile of other forgotten city planning files and had not seen the light of day since it was read last June” following the devastating floods and deadly petrol station explosion which claimed some 150 lives. A 14-year-old boy from Ablekuma Olebuhas has already been lost to the floods after a down pour on Monday. Several were left homeless as their houses were submerged in flood waters, forcing them to seek refuge on roof tops.
The mayor’s “flood speech” which was first written in 2009 when he took office has undergone several updates during the seven years but insiders say the main content has remained unchanged. “Expect the usual catalogue of empty promises and the blame shifting,” said one insider. “Vanderpuije’s all-too familiar speech will have all the usual phrases like ‘we will begin dredging’ ‘it will not happen again’ ‘this is the last time’ ‘it’s not my fault’ and ‘I am Africa’s best mayor, I will not resign.’
Officials at the mayor’s office said residents of Accra should expect to hear the mayor’s “flood speech” only after floods have destroyed lives and properties in the capital.