Editorial: Flood Control Projects Under GARID Should Not Delay

In our Wednesday, June 26, 2024 edition of the paper, we carried a story captioned ‘Gov’t takes bold steps to mitigate flooding at Nkrumah Circle, et al.’

The report said that the government had commenced construction works on the Nima-Paloma to Odaw drains, being executed under the Greater Accra Resilience and Integrated Development (GARID) project.

It will see the upgrade of major drains from Nima down to the Odaw Basin, in a move that will help mitigate flooding around the Ring Road, Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Adabraka and Asylum Down.

The Minister for Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, who broke the ground for the commencement of work, emphasised the project’s pivotal role in mitigating the perennial flooding issues that have plagued Accra for years.

The Minister said the GARID project not only aims to upgrade the drainage infrastructure but also includes the performance-based dredging of the Odaw River and the reconstruction of the broken sections of the Odaw channel at Achimota-Abofu, announcing future drainage improvement plans for Kaneshie, which will be executed in two lots: The construction of a storm drain from Accra Academy to Pramprom Junction and another from the Bank of Ghana Quarters to the Odaw.

“In the coming weeks, contracts will be signed for drainage improvement works in Kaneshie in two lots. Work will commence with the relocation of utilities after the completion of the ongoing resettlement of project-affected persons,” he added.

These developments, he explained, are part of the broader 2024 National Flood Control Programme, which involves dredging activities, concrete lining of storm drainage channels and the removal of critical bottlenecks in major drains, particularly in flood hotspots across the country.

The adverse effects of floods in the nation’s capital, Accra, in particular the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange and the nearby communities cannot be quantified.

The sad event of June 3, 2015 is fresh on the minds of many Ghanaians, and they would not wish for even a similar occurrence ever in the history of the nation.

We have observed, and experts have corroborated, that, among other factors, the poor drainage system in the country contributes greatly to the flooding, which sometimes costs the nation precious lives.

Further, we do not say anything new when we attribute a factor to indiscriminate building construction. Several buildings are on waterways, compelling the drains to divert to people’s homes and destroy properties.

It is extremely unsafe to drive when it rains for just 30 minutes nonstop, as most of the roads will be consumed by flooding, sometimes collapsing bridges and trapping road users.

Most of the time, we are quick to blame authority as citizens, but, on the other side of the spectrum, we fail, as citizens, to play our roles. We cannot hold authorities responsible when we dump refuse in gutters. They may fail in dredging regularly, which prevents the drainage from holding enough water, thereby overflowing its banks easily, but as citizens, we must be disciplined.

That said, we commend the government for moving to upgrade major drainage systems, particularly in the capital of Accra.

We are told that the Odaw River will be dredged and the broken sections reconstructed. This is not the first time such an exercise is taking place, but what happens afterwards, we think, must be of importance to the authorities.

The government should ensure that the project runs smoothly and quickly to prevent further mayhem in those areas whenever it rains.

Perhaps the swift and successful execution of the projects will answer the minority’s concerns over the utilisation of the GARID funds. It is a US$200 million World Bank loan approved in 2019 and an additional US$150 million approved in May.


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