16th June 2024

The Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has challenged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to do more by ensuring that district and municipal assemblies discharge their duties in helping to maintain the environment.
This, he believes, will go a long way to deal with the poor drainage issues confronting Ghana such as the dumping of refuse in drains and the building of structures on waterways.
“I hold the humble view that the local government should work. If the system was working so well, when somebody is about to do something that is illegal, they will stop the person, if he starts. Unfortunately for us, by the time we say jack, some properties are up there and it will be difficult to now persuade a person to pull the property down,” he said.
The Minister said this after he inspected some flood-prone areas in Accra, last week, as part of measures to assess the conditions of the drains and prepare adequately ahead of the rains this year.

Doing more

Mr Atta Akyea said, even though, under the $200 million Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, both his ministry and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development are working together to achieve a common goal, especially with regards to the Odaw River Basin, he believes his counterpart has a lot more to do.
“In this GARID arrangement, there is emphasis on what to be done to prevent some of these challenges we face, and I am tempted to come to the conclusion that it is the Minister for Local Government that should whip the assemblies into line,” he said.
He added, however, that the Local Government Minister is very aware of the necessity of cracking the whip on the assemblies for them to be active.
Clear the gutters
Making reference to the Nashville tornado, which claimed 22 lives in the United States of America (USA), Mr Atta Akyea noted that the world weather patterns are changing with hostile climatic conditions, saying Ghana will not be exempted from it.
The Minister told journalists that even though some of the drainage systems are being expanded, his ministry will still be in need of “serious financial uplifting” in order to construct subterranean drain, as directed by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
In addition, Mr Atta Akyea noted that even as the government is doing its best, the citizenry in all communities should be interested in a continuous community labour programme and monitoring.
“The citizens of this country should begin serious local undertakings to clear gutters and the others because we are educated by our meteorological agency that rainfall pattern, this year, will be above normal,” he said.

 

SOURCE: Daily Statesman

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