The Ministry of Works and Housing, in association with the Hydrological Services Department and the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA), has laid out urgent plans to arrest the perennial flooding in Accra and its environs.
To that effect, an amount of GH₵ 17, 300, 000.00 million has been allocated in the 2018 budget to undertake desilting and drainage works. In addition, a further GH₵ 200 million will be provided for excavation works to develop new unlined drains as well as the construction of concrete-lined drains and culverts in the country.
More funding support to the tune of US$ 100 million to implement far reaching interventions for urban drainage and flood management, such as improvement in forecasting, warning and response, and community level solid waste management, is also expected from the World Bank.
Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea, Minister for Works and Housing, made these known after an inspection tour of drainage centers in Accra, yesterday.
Among the places he visited were the Nima drain, behind hotel paloma; Adabraka Odawnaa Drain; Odaw/Korle Lagoon; Kaneshie first light; and the Sakaman Drain.
Mr Atta-Akyea expressed confidence in the ability of government to find a lasting solution to the flooding and urged the AMA to enforce the laws on the citing of buildings and the disposal of waste.
He said in order to stop the vicious cycle of putting in huge sums of monies to manage flooding challenge in the country, government would employ the services of world class engineers, both local and International, to fix the flooding issue permanently.
Mr Atta-Akyea disclosed that government in the short time would deepen dredging and widen all unlined channels, lagoons and ponds.
He added that, as part of the measures to curb the menace, demolition of buildings and other structures on water ways would be resorted to while culverts and bridges, whose capacities were inadequate to contain heavy down pours, would be reconstructed.
In the long-term, according to the Minister, his outfit with other relevant agencies would enforce planning and land-use control regulations, noting that, enforcement of the buffer zones policy would be applied so as to adequately tackle the perennial flooding problem in Accra.
He attributed part of the causes of the flooding, over the years, to human factor and climate change-- the illegal settlers on water ways and the waste generated by them--which, he said, should be addressed by law enforcement.
The Minister cautioned the general public to take the warning of Ghana Metrological Agency and National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) concerning the expected heavy rains seriously in order to take measures to avert loss of lives and property.
He lauded Dredge Master for good work done over the years, and reassured them that an amount of US $ 27 million due them would be paid.
In a statement, a Drainage Consultant at the Hydrological Services Department, Mr Seth Kudzordzi, said parts of the walls of the Nima Drain, leading to Adabraka Drain, were broken and threatening lives and properties, hence, immediate attention should be taken to address drainage systems.
He also explained that good waste management practices along those drains had enabled the free flow of rains in the last few months.
Source: ISD (Aliyah Bayali & Faith Junko Eddison)