March 9, 2018

Government is leaving no stone unturned in readiness to curtail the devastating effects of floods in Accra which has become an albatross on the Nation perennially.

To this end, additional works have begun on critical drains within the city, Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea has told Parliament.

“The Ministry of Works and Housing is currently finalizing the procurement process for some additional works to be undertaken on other critical drains within the city, that is, Santa Maria, Sowutuom, Madina Maye Hot, Roman Ridge, Hatso-Papao, West Legon Pipe, Madina Ritz Area, Gbawe-Lafa, Ashiyie Culvert. Dormi Market, North Legon and Lapaz” he said.

The Minister who stated these when he appeared before Parliament House to answer questions on the negative impact of flooding in the country bemoaned what he described as a paltry allocation of GH₵5.5m in the 2018 financial year for the Ministry to undertake the short term measures.

The short term measures that has begun comprises: dredging or desilting of drains in South Kaneshie, Awudome Cemetary area drains including the Ring Road West roadside drains, Adabraka-Odawnaa drain to outfall into the Odaw drain, culvert at Agbogba and Gbawe Electricity sub-station area.

Other measures include: updating the hydro and urban geographical maps and conduct of hydro geological studies on a basin-by-basin basis, assessment of the cost of removing obstructions and compare with other options that is creating diversions for water movements, identification of sources of finance for migration measures, awareness creation in order to get support from the general public, demolition and removal of building and structures on water ways.

Additionally, dredging and desilting of hot spots, that is deepening and widening of channels and retention basins and ponds, building the capacity of Regional Spatial Planning Committees, District Spatial Planning Committees and Technical Sub-committees for effective enforcement of regulations.

Mr Atta Akyea who is Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South called for Ministerial collaborations with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development(MLGRD) and all Departments and Agencies in the region to undertake short term to long term measures to reduce the risk of flooding.

Medium-term measures also include : dredging and desilting of drains and the flood retention basin/ponds and removal of all obstructions, construction of new drains and sea defense structures, reconstruction of poorly functioning drains, revision of existing Land Use and Spatial Plans.

He also added that long term measures consist of enforcement of planning and land-use control regulations, enforcement of buffer zones and extenstion and full implementation of landuse and drainage masterplans.

“In arriving at the total cost to mitigate the impact of flooding in Accra, there is the need for a feasibility study. Currently, one feasibility study is on-going covering only the Odaw river basin. I will make it available to this august House as soon as the figure is available”.

The Minister also maintained that flood management is an integrated effort and is capital-intensive which includes both structural and non-structural infrastructural facilities to provide protection and security of lives, livelihoods and properties.

Mr Atta Akyea was responding to a question posed by Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza on what measures the Ministry was putting in place to curb the perennial floods as the rains sets in.

By Christian Kpesese /