GOVERNMENT FAST-TRACKS COMPLETION OF SEA DEFENCE PROJECTS

 

The Minister for Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah was on a 2-day working tour of the Central and Western Regions.

The purpose?

To oversee ongoing sea defence projects, firsthand and expedite their completion, ensuring the safety of coastal communities.

According to Hon. Oppong Nkrumah, the need to also bridge any gaps between on-ground realities and reports received in Accra necessitated the tour.

Courtesy Call

The Minister began his tour first by paying a courtesy call on the Anomabo Paramount Chief, Nana Kantamanto Amonu XI, the Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabariba Kwesi Atta II, and Komenda Paramount Chief, Nana Kojo Kru under whose jurisdiction the Anomabo, Cape Coast and the Komenda Sea Defence are being constructed.

Touring the Anomabo, Cape Coast and New Takoradi Emergency Sea Defence Project (Phase III) at Elmina, where there is the construction of armor rock revetment with granular filter layers, armor rock groynes and land reclamation with lateritic backfilling to protect 5,000 metres of coastal stretch, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah expressed satisfaction with the level of work done by the contractors and said the project will help protect lives and properties in the communities.

“We’re doing about 8 coastal protection projects across the country since 2017 and a good number of them have been completed, some have been delayed as well. What I, the Ministry, and the Hydro Authority are doing is touring these projects to understand the challenges, why some of them haven’t been completed, and for those that are near completion to be able to fast-track the work. I think the contractors have done very well. The Hydro Authority too has done very well,” he said.

He said the timely intervention of the projects has restored fishing and other businesses which hitherto, were collapsing due to the devastating effect of the coastal waves.

Engage local communities.

Engagement with local communities emerged as a pivotal aspect of the Minister’s directive to contractors when he took some time to talk to them. Minister Oppong Nkrumah stressed the importance of soliciting input from locals to tailor engineering solutions effectively, thereby enhancing the resilience of coastal infrastructure.

In Takoradi, he inspected the Shama, Aboadze, Axim, and Dixcove sea defence projects.

Protect key government installations and local communities.

The urgency of a sea defence was palpable, particularly in areas like Aboadze and Upper Dixcove.

In Aboadze especially, the raging tidal waves are increasingly becoming a threat to the three key power installations; the Takoradi (TICO) Thermal Power Plant, the Takoradi (TAPCO) 1 Thermal Power Plant, and the Takoradi (TAPCO) 3 Thermal Power Plant.

The potential of the damage prompted the Minister to ask the contractor, Messrs Xara Developers Limited to hasten construction works which stands at 66% completion. He instructed the quick execution of the capping of revetment and breakwater protection structures to the crest level of the coastline to protect these installations.

During the Minister’s visit to Dixcove, the Paramount Chief of Upper Dixcove Traditional Area, Obrempong Hema Dekyi bemoaned how the slow pace of construction works put the community at the mercy of tidal waves. Though the contractor has mobilized and is on-site, construction works only stand at 36% completion. He said this is becoming a threat to life and property in the communities, and also affecting the activities of fishermen.

Thus, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah tasked the contractor to hasten construction works to bring relief to the local community.

Assurance

The implementation of the Coastal Protection Project is aimed at protecting beaches and their environs against encroachment by the sea, arresting environmental deterioration, as well as mitigating the negative social and economic consequences of beach erosion.

About two-thirds of Ghana’s 550-kilometre coastal line needed some form of protection against the sea hence, the Government in 2017 started its Coastal Protection Programme to protect coastal towns.

In his assurance to Chiefs and the local communities, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said the Government would work to ensure that all coastal communities were protected and reiterated its commitment to making funds available to support the execution of projects in all communities that were in urgent need of protective infrastructure.

The Chiefs and their people thanked the Minister for his visit and called for further developmental projects in their respective communities.

The Minister was accompanied by some officials from the Ministry.

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