Building on waterways assumes alarming proportions in Sekondi -Takordi
By Alfred Adams
The practice of building on waterways has assumed alarming proportions in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and its environs without credence to it future effects.
Now that the rainy season has set in, structures built on waterways are obviously going to contribute to the existing flood threat that the metropolis has been witnessing over the years.
One of the suburbs of Takoradi, which is prone to floods whenever the rains set in, is Chapel Hill. In this area, a chain of stores owned by a former member of parliament (MP) is sitting right on a storm drain.
Though the Regional Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr. Japhet Baidoo, acknowledged, in an interview with this file earlier that the structure was sitting on a water way, nothing had been done about it.
Though he had threatened that the structure would be razed to the ground, to date, he has not been able to gather the wherewithal to do so, as the inhabitants in the area continue to be at the receiving end of floods anytime the rains set in.
This is because the drain on which the chain of stores is sitting on is unable to contain the volume of water that passes through it.
Following the inability for the NADMO Secretariat to demolish buildings sited on waterways, the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipal Coordinator for the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO, Mr. Kenneth Mensah, has called on the various Assemblies to collaborate with the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) to prosecute those who have put up unauthorised structures on water ways.
According to him, the practice of building along water courses was fast gaining root in certain parts of the region, particularly, the Tarkwa municipality, and need to be urgently addressed.
Speaking to KYZZ FM News, Mr. Mensah said if immediate steps were not taken against this menace, lots of people would be affected whenever it rains heavily.
He said in 2011, a total of 2,796 residents in Tarkwa Nsueam were displaced by rain as against 180 victims in 2010, as a result of building on waterways. For this reason, NADMO would not sit unconcerned for the problem to recur. At Dixcove in the Ahanta West District of the region, properties worth thousands of Ghana Cedis were destroyed following the heavy downpour that hit parts of the country last Friday.
The situation has left hundreds stranded who have been forced to perch with other family members, as attempts are being made to assist the displaced residents.
Areas which were severely affected include the theatre of the Dixcove Hospital, the Catholic School’s computer lab, which was recently furnished and stocked with 20 computers by Tullow Oil, Church of Pentecost Church building, as well as the Chief’s palace.
Some individuals were also affected, as the roofs of their houses were ripped off.
The community is said to be looking for support from benevolent organisations and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for relief items.
The Omanhene of Lower Dixcove, Nana Akwesi Agyemang, says the situation looks disheartening, as it has rendered hundreds homeless.
“We have advised that those who have relatives in the community should perch with them, as we look for avenues to support the affected.”
He told reporters that the District Chief Executive for Ahanta West, Joseph Dofoyena, due to the incident, had visited the area and assured those affected of his support.
According to him, the incident had also left the hospital, which serves several communities around, in a deplorable state, as the only option is to refer critical cases to the Effia-Nkwanta Government Hospital.
Nana Agyemang noted that the hospital, prior to this incident, was had been appealing to the authorities to assist it acquire an ambulance to handle emergencies, which they were yet to secure, and that the rainstorm had added troubles to their woes.
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