So in my last post, I reflected on the situation in Haiti being made worse because an unpredictable natural disaster compounded poverty, poor infrastructure, and political corruption. I wondered if other impoverished countries in this world would have been prepared especially countries known to be seismic zones…like Ghana.
That was just an intellectual exercise.
So why did I wake up today to reports of panic in Ghana after a text message reporting an impending earthquake spread like a virus in the wee hours of the day, jamming up phone lines, and causing people to abandon their homes for open spaces outside.
Shame that someone thought this up to scare the populace…or was it a lesson? Shame that people actual believe that you can predict an earthquake.
It was a hoax of course, but at least now we know that in the event of an emergency, text messages would be one way to alert people in Ghana. It’s reassuring as well that government officials and scientists in Ghana came out right away (well in the morning I suppose) to dispel the rumours.
But I do hope we can learn from this and move on. However, something tells me Ghanaians are going to do what they do best – talk, talk, and talk. Every year, isn’t there flooding in various parts of Accra during the rainy season? It’s not like they are monsoon rains, but we still manage to get flooded. Why?! Because people build anywhere they please preventing a drainage system (does one even exist?) to work adequately. And every year, there are promises from the government to do something. Meanwhile, on the rare occasions I go to Ghana I am still able to come upon buildings marked for demolition years prior (like 1990s!).