WORKS AND HOUSING MINISTER ADDRESSES NATIONAL POLICY SUMMIT
The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has assured Ghanaians of Government’s commitment to contain the perennial flooding in the country in order to protect lives and properties.
He said even though it is not feasible for the Ministry to completely end perennial flooding in the short term, Government will do its best to ensure that measures are put in place to control flooding during rains.
Hon. Atta Akyea, was speaking at the first 2019 National Policy Summit on the topic, “Preventing Sanitation – Related Flooding, a Shared Responsibility”, in Cape Coast, in the Central Region.
The forum, which is the 6th in the series, was intended to explore the policies, technologies and strategies that would drive information dissemination to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. It was on the theme ‘Sustainable Development Goals, with emphasis on Fisheries and Sanitation”.
The Minister explained that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has shown greater commitment to solving the flooding menace and that was reflected in the increase seen in the budget allocation for the Ministry from GH¢20,584,189 in 2018, to GH¢45,710,330 in 2019.
‘I need not stress that in July 2018, President Akufo- Addo’s Government, committed the sum of GH200M towards desilting and excavation works, the highest ever since Ghana’s Constitutional rule stabilised in 1996,’ he stated.
The Minister however, noted that drainage projects are capital-intensive and that government’s yearly budget allocation alone cannot support the country’s drainage projects.
He said as part of Government’s commitment towards stemming the effects of flooding across the country, a Cabinet Committee was tasked by H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to provide a comprehensive roadmap for a permanent fix to the perennial flooding in the country, adding that Cabinet has conveyed approval for the Ministry to tackle drains in Accra and Kumasi in the short term and to complete the rest in the medium term.
According to the Minister, the Ministry is continuing with the 2019 Flood Management Programme and that an emergency budget of GH¢523,150,000 has been presented to the Finance Minister, for consideration for works to commence in concrete lining of selected drains, reconstruction of selected culverts which sizes are inadequate, excavation to create channels in new areas where channels are non-existent or undefined and dredging and desilting of silted channels.
Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea therefore, appealed to Ghanaians to be environmentally-friendly and desist from throwing solid waste into drains, building and constructing in waterways, encroachment of natural water reservoirs and called for political will to bankroll the huge capital outlay to secure a world class drainage system for the nation so as to avert the self-defeating and expensive cycle of desilting.
To effectively address the issue of flooding, the Minister called for collaboration between institutions such as, the Ministries of Sanitation, Roads and Highways, Inner City and Zongo Development, Local Government and Rural Development and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as National Commission on Civic Education and the National Disaster Management Organization.
He also called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to provide sensitization and enforce their by-laws in order to check recalcitrance in the system and change their attitudes for the benefit of all.