SPEED UP DRAINAGE WORKS – HON. OPPONG NKRUMAH TO HYDROLOGICAL AUTHORITY

In a bid to prepare for the impending rainy season and mitigate the risk of flooding, the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has issued a directive urging the Ghana Hydrological Authority to expedite drainage works across the country.

The directive by the Minister is to minimize the potential impact of heavy rains on communities in flood-prone areas of the country.

He gave this directive during an inspection of ongoing dredging works on the Odaw River Basin as well as flood mitigation measures being implemented in several communities in Alogboshie, Kasoa-Iron City, Weija and its surrounding environs on Saturday, March 9, 2024.

“For us, one of the key things is the speed of work. We want to be clear that our contractors need to ensure that they deliver on time or sometimes as quickly as possible ahead of schedule,” stated Minister Oppong Nkrumah.

Accompanied by key officials from the Ministry and its Agencies including Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, Project Coordinator for the Greater Accra Resilient Integrated Development (GARID) project, and Dr. John Kisi, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Hydrological Authority, Minister Oppong Nkrumah inspected the progress of various drainage projects in Accra.

These projects, under the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) and the Ghana Hydrological Authority, aim to address perennial flooding issues, particularly in the capital.

Scope of works

The drainage and desilting works for beneficiary Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region is under the Government’s National Flood Control Programme (NFCP).

With government having committed about GH450 million so far under the programme, to mitigate perennial flooding especially in Accra, the Sector Minister reaffirmed its commitment to addressing flood risk and enhancing infrastructure and services in affected communities.

At the time of inspection, dredging works on the Odaw River had been underway for about two weeks, with Dredge Masters tasked with removing solid waste materials along a 10-kilometer stretch of the river. This initiative is expected to improve flood risk management and solid waste management in the targeted communities within the Odaw River Basin.

In addition to dredging works, construction of storm drains is underway in various communities as part of GARID’s Community Upgrade Programme. These projects, including the construction of storm drains, improvement of access roads, expansion of water supply, and provision of streetlights, aim to enhance resilience to flooding and improve overall infrastructure in beneficiary communities.

Minister Oppong Nkrumah’s inspection tour also included visits to ongoing construction sites in communities such as Alogboshie, Kasoa-Iron City, and Weija. These projects involve the construction of storm drains to accommodate floodwaters and prevent erosion caused by runoff from mountainous areas.

Dr. Sarfoh who showed the Minister around the ongoing construction of a storm drain in Alogboshie, highlighted government’s efforts to reduce the risk of flooding in Accra following the June 3rd flood disaster.

He said government since the disaster has put in place measures including dredging the Odaw River, implementing structural measures to improve drain capacity, and constructing major drains to redirect runoff from vulnerable areas.

This followed the inspection of another storm drain at Kasoa-Iron City by the Minister and his team. He received a brief on the progress of construction works which is about 80% done before making his way to Weija and its environs where he inspected the construction of another storm drain to accommodate runoffs from the mountains.

Following a brief from Dr. Kissi, the Minister inspected ongoing works. The scope of work includes the construction of a drain along the Weija-Kasoa highway that will prevent runoffs from the mountain side of the road from flooding the street. This will also see the construction of a catchpit that will ensure that drains are not filled with sand eroded from the mountain top due to the disturbed vegetation.

Compensation

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah stressed the need for adequate engagement with affected persons as a result of these ongoing construction works to ensure that they are duly compensated. He said much as government is looking to mitigate the risk of flooding in the city, it should not come under circumstances where people are rendered homeless with no proper compensation.

Responsibility of Assemblies

In his admonition to the beneficiary Assemblies, the Minister said in order for residents to benefit fully from the drainage systems when completed, the Assemblies should take responsibility for its regular maintenance charging them to regularly desilt to make the investment worthwhile.

He called for the need to maintain and improve drainage infrastructure for safety and well-being of the residents within the Municipalities, adding that regular maintenance of drains is of utmost importance to mitigate the risks of flooding and safeguard our communities.

In furtherance of this, the Minister said the Ministry will see to it that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed between the Ministry and the Local Assemblies to ensure the regular maintenance of these drains.

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