The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye has revealed that, human activities are a serious contributing factors to the yearly flooding in Ghana adding that, it undermines all efforts being made by the Government to address flooding within Greater Accra.
Hon. Asenso made this known at a press conference organized on the theme, “ASSESSING OUR PREPAREDNESS AGAINST FLOODS AHEAD OF THE RAINING SEASON.”
He said among the nagative human activities include the filling of lagoons and wetlands with construction materials for development purposes.
Again, the Building on drainage channels to block free flow of storm water.
Furthermore, dumping of solid waste in drains, thereby reducing the capacity to hold storm water likewise, the gaps in the enforcement of planning laws and building regulations by the MMDAs.
“To address the human induced challenges, the Ministry has engaged with the Ministry of National Security to seek support for the Assemblies to enforce planning laws and building regulations to stop development on the Kpeshie wetlands and other water bodies across the country”.
The Ministry he mentioned, is engaging the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development to enhance support for the Assemblies in dealing with the challenge of buildings in water ways and drainage buffers.
“The other component of Government’s comprehensive programme to tackle flooding in vulnerable communities is investment in the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project. Under GARID, Government is collaborating with the World Bank to invest USD 200 million to mitigate flood risk and solid waste management challenges in the Odaw Drainage Basin. We have made significant progress in the implementation of the project”.
He revealed that, the procurement process for the performance-based dredging of the Odaw River is completed and that, works is expected to commence soon after the implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan to compensate individuals that would be impacted by the project.
Other interventions put in place by the Ministry he indicated include, the drainage improvement works at Achimota, Nima and Kaneshie.
“The procurement process for Drainage Improvement Works at Achimota is far advanced. That for Nima Drainage Improvement Works is in progress, while our technical team is working with the Consultant to finalise the detailed design of Kaneshie. It is expected that construction of these drainage improvement works will commence in the next few months. The GARID project is also undertaking participatory community upgrade in Alogboshie and Akweteyman and Nima. We are in the middle of procuring contractors to undertake these projects”.
Other important interventions made by the government of President Akufo Addo and the Ministry of Works and Housing he stated, have to do with the construction of retention ponds in the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission area to hold large volumes of water, which would have otherwise flowed directly towards the city centre to cause flooding. “Our Technical Team is working with the consultant to finalise the designs and the procurement process will commence thereafter”.
The Ministry he averred are not only implementing the structural measures but also, undertaking non-structural measures such as the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) for the Greater Accra Region as well as Social and Behavioural Change Campaign.
He hinted that, the Ministry have registered significant progress in the efforts to mitigate flood risks and reduce incidence of flooding in flood prone communities through the 2018 and 2020 National Flood Control Programmes.
“We have deployed all resources available to us to construct new drains and improve existing ones with a focus on vulnerable communities ahead of the raining season. Whilst progress has been made, we recognise the need to improve drainage infrastructure in many other communities, and that is a subject of on-going engagement with the Ministry of Finance.
Hon. Asenso Boakye however, entreated the citizens to be more circumspect in managing household solid waste and desist from using drainage channels as rubbish dumps.
“On our part, we will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD) and the Ministry of National Security to ensure waterways are free of buildings that block the drainage channels and cause flooding in our communities”.
He therefore, call on the traditional rulers, community leaders, civil society groups and the media to support Government’s efforts in controlling floods. “We can all do so by highlighting incidents of construction in waterways so appropriate state authorities could act promptly and by educating the public on dangers of building in waterways and improper disposal of solid waste. Let us all support the Ministry to achieve the bigger objective of making our communities resilient to flooding”.
Hon. Asenso Boakye on behalf of the Ministry, further assured the good people of Ghana that, his outfit is committed to the course of ensuring the robust, resilient and sustainable development of public works and housing infrastructure for the benefit of the present and future generations.
“I wish to urge every citizen, LET’S WORK TOGETHER! LET’S STOP THE FLOODS!”.