July 6, 2011

Mr Alban Sumanni Bagbin, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Tuesday said the relevant ministries and other governmental organizations have been tasked to implement measures to prevent drowning in water bodies across the country.

The Water Resources Commission has also granted them permits to utilize the water bodies for tourism, transportation, agricultural and other purposes.

Mr Bagbin, who said this on the floor of Parliament when he appeared to answer questions, indicated that the Ministry also directed the Hydrological Services Department to conduct a comprehensive studies and design channel improvement works for the Sakumono Lagoon.

The design considered, among other things, constructing channels for the smooth runoff from upstream areas of the lagoon such as Ashaiman, Tema Community 3, 5, 6 and 12, in order to reduce backwater effects on the adjoining streams.

Mr Bagbin said the periodic flooding of the Sakumono Lagoon and the subsequent backwater effect in the connecting streams which have resulted in the isolated cases of drowning has been a concern to the Ministry.

He said works on the lagoon would also maintain the wetland in order to reduce the runoff pollution load of the lagoon.

Mr Bagbin said the studies and designs have been completed, and the project, packaged under the Presidential Task Force Projects.

It is currently before the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for funding.

Similarly, the Ministry is planning to dredge other lagoons and water bodies in other parts of the country to among other things, increase their capacities to retain flood waters.