GARID Project: KON promises to clear funding hurdles

The Minister of Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, last Friday, April 12, 2024 convened a meeting with the Project Contractors of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project.

The main agenda was to assess the project’s current status and address issues hindering its progress.

In his opening remarks, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah expressed gratitude to the project coordinating team for their efforts so far.

He acknowledged the challenges faced, including delays in project execution and funding constraints, but emphasised the government’s commitment to overcoming these hurdles.

The Minister highlighted several factors contributing to the project’s slow pace, such as cumbersome review processes, insufficient funding allocations and diversion of funds for other purposes.

“I think it’s fair for us to first of all say that the project is not moving as quickly as we had all initially expected right from the project design stage. And this has been due to a number of factors.

“Some of those factors include the review processes and mechanisms that were put in the initial framework that required about a two-step review for every work before it is executed,” he said.

Despite these challenges, he commended ongoing efforts to streamline processes and provide compensation to affected persons.

One significant change the minister mentioned during the meeting was the amendment of the review process to expedite work approval. Instead of a sequential review, he disclosed that the process will now be concurrent, allowing for faster decision-making and progress on the ground.

Regarding compensation for project-affected persons, Mr Oppong Nkrumah stressed the importance of timely payments to ensure affected areas are vacated promptly.

“We are also pleased that the amendments have been made so that now some compensation can be made available to project affected persons. And that they can completely vacate the places where the project will be requiring some interventions, so that those interventions can also take place,” he added.

He emphasised the need for securing these areas to prevent re-occupation, which has previously caused project delays.

He stated that, “I think it’s important to say that for the places where the validation exercise of the project affected persons have been completed, I want you to ensure that when the payment is done, those places are secured.”

The Minister also addressed the issue of additional funding required for project continuity. He mentioned ongoing engagements with Parliament to secure outstanding funds, including refunds for funds diverted during the COVID period and allocations for compensation payments and project variations.

Furthermore, Minister Oppong-Nkrumah reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting contractors in overcoming bottlenecks.

He assured them of the necessary assistance to expedite work and adhere to project specifications.

It will be recalled that last year in December, the former Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, launched the first project under the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project.

GARID is the first in a series of projects designed to build the resilience of the national capital with the initial phase covering a five-year period (2020-2025).

It is funded by the World Bank and has been designed to address most of these challenges, especially, in the targeted flood prone vulnerable communities in the Odaw basin.

The goal of the project is to improve flood risk and solid waste management in the Odaw River basin of the Greater Accra region and improve access to basic infrastructure and services in the targeted communities within the Odaw River Basin.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here