The government has committed US$200 million to tackle the perennial flooding in Accra, under the flagship Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project.
GARID is under the supervision of three ministries – Works and Housing (HWM), Sanitation and Water Resources and Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD).
The Project would ensure the dredging of the Odaw River and other water bodies in Accra to reduce circumstances of inundation of Accra, which has become an annual ritual.
The project, which was launched at Roman Ridge in Accra, last week, by the Works and Housing Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye, is another commitment made by the government after investing about GH₵450 million in the National Flood Control and Priority Drainage Programme.
Minister Asenso-Boakye said the project is targeted at tackling flood risk and solid waste management challenges in the Greater Accra Region.
He said the US$200 million that was acquired from the World Bank would achieve little success if the people continue their irresponsible behaviour of dumping solid waste indiscriminately into the environment.
According to him, behavioural change is key to the success of the project, therefore, the various district assemblies in the region must make sure that their bye-laws work and offer no discrimination, favouritism or mercy to delinquents.
“It is important to note that, in spite of such substantial investments, government alone cannot solve the sanitation and flooding problems in the country; it must be a shared responsibility,” he underscored.
The minister further charged the media not to be only conveyors of information for the education of the society, but also as part of the collective policing that must occur to stop the bad behaviour.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said, “The media with their sharp lenses, strong pens and big microphones must help to catch and stop recalcitrant persons indulging in such bad behaviour. As watchers of our society, make it count to save our communities.
“Use your platforms to help the Assemblies and other institutions to make it difficult for people to indulge in bad behaviour. The state cannot be spending so much on infrastructure, only to be undermined by bad behaviour.”
As part of the flood controlling mechanism of the project, the Housing Ministry would ensure the construction of water detention ponds along the Odaw River, redevelopment of bridges that obstruct the free flow of water, assisting Ghana Meteorology Service, National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other relevant agencies to issue accurate early flood warning and respond to flood emergencies.
Similarly, the project would ensure an effective solid waste management system in the region, as means of achieving a clean environment, deferred and routine maintenance and dredging of the Odaw channel to improve drainage and flood management and construction of sand traps on selected tributaries of the Odaw River Basin.