15th July 2024

Asenso-Boakye, Deputy Chief of Staff

The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has pointed out that flood mitigation in the country is a collective responsibility.

He said as the government is playing its part to ensure lives are saved when it rains, it behoves the citizenry to also play their part by not choking the drains with filth.

“People are dumping bicycles, refrigerators and these are what is blocking the free flow of water causing flooding. I therefore urge Ghanaians to be responsible in their disposal of waste,” he said.

Speaking to journalists after a tour of flood prone areas in Accra, Mr Asenso-Boakye called on various assemblies to strictly enforce planning laws and building regulations and see to it that structures are not built on water ways.

He assured of his outfit’s commitment to continuously collaborate with the Ministries of Sanitation and Water Resources and the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development to deepen education on solid waste management.

The Minister referred to the government’s commitment towards tackling flooding in the country to ensure that the June 3 disaster never re-occurs. He added that the various interventions undertaken in the sector under the Akufo-Addo government had yielded positive result so far.

He commended Dredging Masters, a subsidiary of the Jospong Group and contractor for the desilting of the Odaw River and Korle Lagoon, for the works done so far.

Encroachment

A major challenge to the dredging is the slum development that is picking up around the Korle-lagoon. This, the contractors say, is worrying and slowing down their work.

The Operations Manager of Dredge Masters, Sena Adiepenna, found it worrying that slum dwellers add up to the blockages along the pathway of the lagoon and also preventing ease of access of their equipment.

He noted that even though his outfit has reported the issue to city authorities to help relocate the encroachers, they also find their way back to that area.

“Because there is an issue with their settlement, they dispose their waste into the drain because they do not have any alternative and it adds up to the work. If it is just silt build up we are dealing with, it will be much easier but cleaning the debris adds up to the work,” he lamented.

The Minister visited the dredging works at Caprice, Odaw River, Upper and Lower Korle-Lagoon, Mallam and Santa Maria project sites.

GARID project

The government, under the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development Project (GARID), has secured an amount of $200million from the World Bank to address the flooding of the Odaw river basin. The interventions are being implemented by four Ministries.

Under Component 1 of the project, there will be repairs of broken sections of the channel, construction of detention ponds to hold storm water and release it into the drain after recession of water in the drain, redevelopment of bridges, reconfiguration of the outlet to the sea, dredging of the Odaw river channel and provision of Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS). This will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Works and Housing,

Component 2 will see the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources improve solid waste management within the Odaw river basin, capping of old dump sites, the construction of engineered landfills, and construction of Transfer Stations.

For Component 3, there will be an upgrading of basic infrastructure and services identified through geospatial and social vulnerability diagnostics, improved city integration by upgrading access roads between inner cities and Central Business Districts (CBDs) as well as participatory resettlement involving low- income and informal settlements aimed at providing support for safe housing. The specific communities are Akweteyman, Nima, and Alogboshie.

Component 4 will see the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development conduct inter-jurisdictional coordination of 17 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies within the project area, joint basin management, operations and maintenance support for drainage infrastructure, and geospatial asset management.

As an interim measure, Messrs Dredge Masters Limited has been intermittently dredging the Korle Lagoon and Odaw channel. This activity will cease when the GARID project takes off eventually.

 

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *