Nine major drainage basins in the Accra Metropolis, namely Odaw, Lafa, Chemu, Kpeshie, Osu Klottey, Morkwei, La, Songor and Korle Lagoon, are about to see a facelift, under the 'Construction of the Accra Sanitary Sewerage and Storm Drainage Alleviation project.'
The project, which is a collaborative effort between the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Conti Infrastructure Company, an international construction firm, aims at improving Accra's drainage system to enhance the quality of life. It also aims at positioning the city as one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa.
A credit facility of US$663,299,497 has been sourced by the Government of Ghana from the Export Import Bank of the United States of America (EXIM Bank) and Standard Chartered Bank to execute the project.
The Mayor of Accra , Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, at a press conference in Accra yesterday to outdoor the project, noted that the sanitation sewer and storm water drainage alleviation project would control the perennial flooding, as well as the sanitation challenges confronting the Accra Metropolis.
Between 2010 and 2011, twenty-one lives and properties were lost through flooding in some parts of Accra. Areas that were heavily affected included; Odaw, Osu Klottey and Lafa.
The situation has been a yearly occurrence during the peak of the rainy season in the months of May-June.
Parliament, last Wednesday, approved the loan for the project, which includes the desilting and covering of the Odaw Basin, new siltation ponds, and restoration of the Korle lagoon.
The project, according to the city authorities, would also focus on restoring the operation of the existing James Town Wastewater Treatment Plant, supplement Accra's existing solid waste collection activities and equipment, as well as increase the availability of public restrooms.
Dr. Vanderpuije stressed that in the last two decades, the population of Accra had increased considerably, such that the existing infrastructure was unable to support it, adding, "the inadequate handling of growing amount of refuse, wastewater and other pollutants has resulted in obstructions to drainage, making Accra increasingly susceptible to flash flooding and disaster."
Mr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije further expressed delight that after so many efforts to address Accra's major drainage and sanitation challenges, the assembly had eventually partnered one of the world's most experienced and technologically savvy construction and engineering companies to achieve those objectives.
On his part, the Senior Project Manager for Conti Company, Michael Prudente, said the project activities fall under two main areas, which include drainage and sanitation.
He expressed the belief that the project, when completed, would restore the natural habitat of the Korle Lagoon and its environs, to sustain wildlife and recreational activities.
"We are excited to be partnering the AMA and the people of Ghana to find long term solutions to drainage and sanitation challenges in the Accra Metropolis," he noted.