HON. KOJO OPPONG NKRUMAH OPENS HOUSING CONFERENCE AND LAUNCHES HYDRO FUND

Ghana has taken a significant step towards addressing its perennial housing and flooding challenges with the opening of the Built Environment National Conference on Housing and Hydrology (BENCHH) 2024.

The three-day event, being held at the Labadi Beach Hotel, was formally opened by the Minister for Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who also launched the Ghana Hydrological Fund, a crucial initiative aimed at mitigating flood risks and improving water management across the nation.

Addressing a diverse assembly of government officials, industry experts, and development partners, Minister Oppong Nkrumah emphasized the critical need for sustainable funding to tackle Ghana’s flooding problems effectively, announcing a GHS 1.5 million in seed funding

“Government through the Ministry of Works and Housing has prioritized an allocation of 1.5 million Ghana Cedis as seed money for the fund,” he announced, calling upon all stakeholders, including development partners, to contribute towards the success of the fund, highlighting its role in expediting essential projects such as drainage construction and dredging.

The Minister underscored the severity of Ghana’s flooding problem, particularly during the rainy season, exacerbated by inadequate drainage infrastructure and the escalating impact of climate change. He revealed that only 2% of drainage channels in the Greater Accra Region, requiring concrete lining, have been addressed, reflecting the urgent need for comprehensive action.

This, he said the fund aims to provide a structured financial mechanism to expedite necessary projects like drainage construction and dredging to help address the country’s flooding problems head-on.

Beyond flooding, Minister Oppong Nkrumah addressed Ghana’s housing deficit, currently standing at 1.8 million units. He acknowledged challenges in affordable housing programmes due to funding limitations and project delays, exacerbated by unfinished projects from previous administrations. The Minister advocated for robust Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), offering incentives to private developers to undertake large-scale affordable housing projects.

During the three-day BENCHH 2024, discussions will include regulatory reforms and the establishment of a Works Inspectorate Unit to ensure adherence to building and safety standards. The Ministry aims to present comprehensive reports on government initiatives, achievements, and challenges, seeking input from stakeholders on innovative approaches.

Minister Oppong Nkrumah expressed confidence in the outcomes of BENCHH 2024, highlighting the potential of collaborative efforts to drive tangible progress in Ghana’s built environment sector. He urged participants to actively engage in discussions and contribute their expertise towards crafting actionable strategies that address the nation’s housing and hydrology challenges comprehensively.

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