Tuesday, 23 July

AUCC students develop early warning system to improve flood resilience in Odawna Sahara Community

Education
Hendrick Noble Kinnah, the Assembly Member of the Odawna Sahara Electoral Area, commended the collaborative effort that led to the project's fruition, emphasising its timely completion amid looming flood threats

The Odawna Sahara community in the Greater Accra Region has long grappled with the devastating impact of seasonal floods, as heavy rainfall transforms its streets into torrents, wreaking havoc on lives and property every year.

However, a beacon of hope now shines in the form of an innovative project spearheaded by five final year students: Nuptia Zanyoh, Jeremiah Ninson, Edna Agyeman, Zita Okwang, Samuel Obeng Appah, of the African University College of Communication (AUCC).

As part of the academic requirements to complete studies in Development Communication studies, these students embarked on research, engaging extensively with local stakeholders to address the pressing need to develop practical community-based interventions to strengthen the community against disasters; especially, floods.

Their endeavour culminated in the Odawna Flood Resilience Project, a multifaceted approach aimed at mitigating the devastating impact of recurrent floods.

Central to the project is a siren-based early warning system strategically positioned to alert residents at the onset of heavy rainfall conducive to flooding. Coupled with designated safe havens within the community, including a school, warehouse frontage, and private buildings, the system empowers residents to take proactive measures to safeguard lives and property.

In a brief ceremony held on Thursday, May 30, 2024, near the installation site of the siren system, the project was officially handed over to the Odawna Sahara community. Attendees, including community members, leaders, and religious figures, gathered to celebrate this milestone and offered prayers for its success.

Hendrick Noble Kinnah, the Assembly Member of the Odawna Sahara Electoral Area, commended the collaborative effort that led to the project's fruition, emphasising its timely completion amid looming flood threats. He highlighted the system's versatility, noting its potential utility beyond flood emergencies.

"This project comes at the right time when heavy rains are causing worries. It's not just for floods; it can help in other emergencies too,” he stressed.

As part of the handing-over ceremony, community members were educated on the importance of taking precautionary measures whenever the siren sounded.

Expressing heartfelt appreciation on behalf of the student team, Samuel Obeng Appah highlighted the symbiotic relationship between academia and community engagement, which yielded tangible results in confronting a shared challenge.

"This started as a school project, but it's now something that can save lives and properties in the community,” he noted.

He expressed optimism regarding the project's scalability, advocating for its replication in neighbouring communities grappling with similar issues.

Appah also urged the community to take care of the system, adding, "We've seen the difference it can make, but it will only work if everyone helps maintain it."

In a display of gratitude, members of the Odawna Sahara community expressed their appreciation for the early warning system and pledged to be vigilant custodians of this vital resource. Recognising its pivotal role in bolstering their resilience against floods, they vowed to uphold its maintenance and usefulness in safeguarding their well-being.

Source: classfmonline.com