Ghana: Damaged Odaw River Drain to Be Fixed

THE Abofu stretch of the Odaw River drain near Achimota in Accra is to see temporal rehabilitation works in the coming weeks, following Ghanaian Times report on the life-threatening condition of the drain.

The Hydrological Services Department is concluding arrangements to have the deteriorated 400-metre part of the stretch fixed with construction stones to prevent further erosion of the area.

The Head of the Department, Mr Herbert Owusu -Ansah and Head of Drains Unit, Mr Seth Kudzordzi briefed the Ghanaian Times on the development in an interview in Accra yesterday.

According to Mr Kudzordzi , the drain that has collapsed and the base slabs that have dislocated would be removed from the river to allow the free flow of water as part of the project.

In his estimation, work on the drain should be completed within two months time when it starts soon, adding that should there be any delay, "work should be completed before the next major rainyseason".

He could not state how much the rehabilitation work would cost explaining the department and the contractor were concluding discussion on issues, including how to get the rocks to the drain since the area is not motorable.

A temporary measure, he said, had been put in place to prevent the loss of property and the destruction of the rail lines nearby, ahead of a permanent solution to the situation, sometime next year.

According to Mr Kudzordzi, the damaged portions of the entire Odaw drain would be reconstructed under the recently authorised $200 million Ghana Accra Resilient Integrated Development (GARID) Project funded by the World Bank.

The first phase of the project, among other things, seeks to mitigate flooding in the Odaw River basin through the construction and rehabilitation of drainage systems and bridges.

Mr Owusu-Ansah, on his part, acknowledged the danger the state of the drain posed to residents and assured that it would be fixed soon.

He commended the Ghanaian Times for highlighting the state of the drain for redress.

On June 4, this year, the paper reported that tragedy was imminent in the area as portions of the concrete walls of the drain had caved in, causing floods in the area during downpours.

It said if the problem was not fixed, the next heavy rains and subsequent overflow of the drain could submerge houses in the area, damage property and even lead to loss of lives.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the area prior to the report, more than 10 large slabs on both sides of the drain had collapsed into the river, impeding free flow of the river.

There were cracks in some of the existing slabs which could deepen and collapse sooner than later. The last flood has left its marks on the walls of neighbouring buildings, including the GH Media School.

The drain, constructed over two decades ago, according to residents, has been weakened and unable to accommodate the pressure of the river during rains due to lack of maintenance.

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