785 buildings to go down at Tse-Addo

The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso Boakye says about 785 houses that have been built in waterways in some parts of Accra,including the Tseaddo Drain enclave, in the Teshie Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly will be demolished.

Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, Minister Asenso Boakye said his recent visit to some of the flood prone areas revealed that structures have been built close to the drain, resulting in flood inundation and severe erosion along the banks of the drain.

Mr. Asenso Boakye highlighted the level of indiscipline on the part of the public in developing wetlands left as a buffer for streams, rivers and lagoons, as well as those who block watercourses which compound the problem and undermine government’s efforts.

Some of the drains being desilted

According to him, he also visited Teshie Bush Road Drain in the same Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly where structures had been put up haphazardly on reservation for the river channels.

Mr. Boakye emphasised on the need for citizens to support government’s efforts by respecting rules and regulations governing settlement planning and avoid development in water ways and drainage buffers.

These activities include “filling lagoons and wetlands with construction materials for development purposes; Building on drainage channels, hence blocking the free flow of storm water; Dumping of solid waste in drains thereby reducing their capacity to hold storm water; and Gaps in the enforcement of planning laws and building regulations by the MMDAs.” he indicated.

The ministry officials who attended the press conference

To address these challenges, Mr. Asenso Boakye disclosed that his 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.

Additionally, the Ministry 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 waterways and drainage buffers.

He continued that his ministry had 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.”

Minister Asenso Boakye answering a question at the press conference

The minister revealed that Government was collaborating with the World Bank to invest USD 200 million to mitigate flood risk and solid waste management challenges in the Odaw Drainage Basin.

According to him, the government’s comprehensive programme to tackle flooding in vulnerable communities is investment in the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project.

“The procurement process for the performance-based dredging of the Odaw River is completed and works expected to commence soon after the implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan to compensate individuals that will be impacted by the project,”he added.

Other interventions the Minister mentioned include drainage improvement works at Achimota, Nima and Kaneshie.

Also, he stated that the procurement process for Drainage Improvement Works at Achimota is far advanced.

The GARID project, he revealed, is also undertaking participatory community upgrade in Alogboshie,Akweteyman and Nima.

“Other important interventions include 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”, the minister reinstated.

He also acknowledged that the team is 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.

With the Early Warning System, he disclosed that people in vulnerable communities will have the benefit of advanced notice of flooding, so they can take steps to protect their lives and valuables.

Subsequently, the minister indicated that “from 2018 to date, the Government has committed approximately GHS 450 million to the programme and that is the single most significant investment from Government of Ghana funding sources to tackle flooding.”

Under the National Flood Control Programme, he said that 384 desilting projects and 202 drainage channel construction projects were initiated.

“The effect has been the mitigation of flood hazards in beneficiary communities such as;Kuntunse Satellite, Achimota Mile 7, Katamanso, Mamprobi, Abeka-Ayigbe Town, Labadi Olympia, Tse-Addo, Teshie Yoomo Specs, Nungua (United Church Area), Haatso, Madina Firestone, Madina Mayehot, Madina Redco, Madina Oblogo, Dome Crossing, Santa Maria (Plus FM and Washing) Weija GEICEL, Kasoa Iron City, Kasoa Obom and Ashaiman, among other communities across the country.” he added.

To ensure the positive impact is experienced in other targeted communities, the Ministry and the Ghana Hydrological Authority will follow-up to ensure completion of all ongoing projects under 2020 National Flood Control Programme, Mr. Asenso noted.

Additionally, the Minister said his outfit had initiated a process of undertaking economic, environmental and social impact assessment of the completed drainage projects under the National Flood Control Programmes.

Ahead of this raining season, the ministered confirmed that desilting works have been undertaken in selected flood hot spots such as Kasoa Millennium City, Adenta Sakora, Nsakyi, Ablekuma, Dawhyenya and Dome Railway Crossing, New Legon, Santor, Adenta, Sango and Naapladjor Drains.

He concluded by saying his outfit is determined to ensure that Accra is adequately prepared for the impending rains.



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