“Fold your mat, rain is coming.”
Oh and has it come. 11 and 12 August saw two straight nights of heavy rain. Imagine having the white static of your television at full blast – that’s what it sounded like on the zinc roof.
I took my 5 minute bucket bath only to emerge to three new leaks in my bedroom. I rushed to place buckets and bowls down. That took about 10 minutes (where the water was coming from was hard to detect in some places). I went to bed and slept soundly.
Six on the dot, my counterpart’s wife wakes me up to tell me that there has been major flooding in the neighboring village and at the eastern side of our village. This must be quite bad to have woken me up for but I was just there yesterday. Sure, there were pools of standing water but there was no damage from the heavy rains two nights earlier – how bad could it be?
I go to see and learn that the men of my village have been up since two am digging trenches to alleviate the flooding and divert the water that is running like a swollen river alongside the road.
How did I sleep through all this? There are crowds of people alongside the road to make sure water is flowing and they all greet me with smiles, like any other day. Some ask if I have floods like this in my country. Thinking of the Philippines, absolutely, with drainage systems that are just as non existent as in Ghana. Thinking of the US, yes, with infrastructure in most places. But even then, sometimes it is not enough; look at what happened in the Baltimore area in July.
Entire homes were destroyed, putting my leaky roof into perspective. Where are these people going to live? With the summer here, I heard a school may be temporarily used for these families. But I really hope more is done – the rainy season is not over yet.