The Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, says his “Plan B” comment to the people living in flood prone areas are honest and sincere to save lives.
He added that the comment was a fact which cannot not be ignored, no matter how people couch a different meaning to propagate their agenda.
Mr. Darko-Mensah made these comments in an interview with Ahoto FM in Takoradi following public criticism over a video that went viral, advising people living in flood prone areas to have a Plan B after a section of Sekondi-Takoradi got flooded on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
The Regional Minister, on the following day, June 22, visited those areas that were flooded to ascertain the intensity of the situation and how best the government can intervene to address the challenges.
It was after the visit, he was interviewed by pressmen, which he made the advice.
Mr. Darko-Mensah, indicated that he is particularly careful when making comments in public space.
Referring to a quote from Sarah Ban Breathnach, he states that “Success in life is not how well we execute Plan A; it’s how smoothly we cope with Plan B.
“I understand perfectly that in such a situation, what people expect to hear is how government will roll out interventions to address the situation. How long will it continue, knowing very well that the area will get flooded every year because it is prone to flood”?
Mr. Darko-Mensah said, he never told the people that government will not invest to address the challenges they are facing.
Rather, what he said was that, before government comes with any intervention, those people need to have a plan that will save their lives from any catastrophe.
The Regional Minister stressed that the importance of having a Plan B in life, especially people living in areas prone to flood, is to save their lives.
He said “Every year, the areas prone to flood get flooded, and it is worrying because it can one day take somebody’s life. You see, people’s properties floating on rainwater, houses and walls collapsing, sometimes on people, yet these people continue to live in those areas. Why is it because they do not have any other alternative in life and having a Plan B in life is the best alternative one could have to turn a difficult situation around.
“The place is a flood prone area, and it is only safe in the dry season. But during the rainy season, regardless of what you do when there is a heavy downpour and the volume of the rainwater increases, the place would be flooded.
“So, in this instance, what would have been the best advice for the people living in those areas?
Is it not wise for them to move to a safer place to avoid any unexpected event than to continue to live there when they know that the situation can cause their lives?”
Mr. Darko-Mensah stated he was guided by the situation at hand, and it was better to tell the people the truth than to console them in a deceitful manner.”
“Ghanaians later understood my comment, but the reality is that, in areas that are prone to flood, the people living there must have a Plan B, so that when the flood becomes worse, they will know what to do.
He said he was amazed that some people have edited the video to propagate certain agenda against him. Even though at the initial stage, people did not understand my comment but when they later watched the full video, they appreciated my comment and supported me.
Mr. Darko-Mensah proposed a Plan C to Ghanaians, particularly tenants, saying they should not rent a house in flood prone areas because it will endanger their lives and properties.
He advised tenants to do a proper assessment of the area upon which the house they are renting is built to have a clear picture of what happens in that area in the rainy season to avoid any havoc.