The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye has called on Ghanaians to change their attitudes on the way waste is disposed off in drainages meant to enhance the flow of stormwater. This, the Minister observed, will go a long way to complement government interventions against the perennial flooding in the capital and other parts of the country.
Speaking at the launch of a Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) for the Greater Accra Resilience and Integrated Development Project (GARID) today in Accra, the Sector Minister stated that for the country to find a lasting solution to the menace of flooding, the government’s efforts must be complemented by appropriate waste disposal behaviours on the part of people as well as commitment of various Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enforce sanitation laws and strictly apply the necessary punitive measures without fear or favour.
The SBCC Campaign forms part of a holistic approach by the Government, through the GARID Project, to manage flood and solid waste in flood-prone informal settlements within the Odaw Basin. The Campaign will eventually institute the ‘Cleanest Market and Lorry Park Award Scheme, with the Cleanest Market and Lorry Terminal being awarded and a League Table publicized in the media.
The Sector Minister recounted the huge investments made by the His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo administration under the National Flood Control and Priority Drainage Programme, with financial commitment amounting to Gh450 million over the last four years. These interventions, namely, the construction, excavation, rechanneling and maintenance of storm drains have resulted in a reduction of perennial devastating floods across the country in recent years.
Despite significant progress made under the GARID Project which is aimed at improving flood risk and solid waste management in Accra, Asenso Boakye disclosed that Government will further commence Performance-Based Dredging activities in the Odaw Basin and its tributaries in June as part of continued efforts to address flooding challenges in Accra.
The Works and Housing Minister, however, observed that the huge investments made by Government are being undermined by inappropriate behaviour of residents of some communities in Accra, particularly, communities along the Odaw channel who are engaged in buildings in waterways, indiscriminate dumping of solid waste which finds its way into drains.
He expressed worry that the implementation of the GARID Project’s interventions, and all other Government flood mitigation measures, will not succeed if the inappropriate behaviour and underlying attitudes of people do not change. “Let me reiterate that for flood mitigation to work in Accra and everywhere in this country; the people must change; the Assemblies must work, and the media must help.” The Minister added.
About the GARID Project:
The Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project is the Government of Ghana’s Project to address flooding in the Odaw Basin of the Greater Accra Region as well as improve drainage, solid waste management and provision of services and infrastructure in priority flood-prone informal settlements within the basin.
The GARID Project is being implemented in 17 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies in Accra by the Ministries of Works and Housing, Sanitation and Water Resources and Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development with support from the Project Coordinating Unit.