The government has allocated GH¢197 million for the control of perennial flooding in Accra. The money is allocated to the Ministry of Works and Housing, which is responsible for flood control, to undertake various projects and works to reduce the incidence of flooding in Accra.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilla Dapaah, made this known when she visited the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP) office at the Institute of Local Government Studies at Madina in Accra to acquaint herself with its activities.
The GAMA-SWP was initiated by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) as a means of ensuring that every household in the city acquires a toilet facility. It aims at promoting a clean and healthy environment.
“Floods can be controlled”
Briefing the media after touring the GAMA office, Ms Dapaah said as part of efforts to contain flooding, there would be dredging and de-silting of major drains in the capital city.
Additionally, she said, there would be the construction of more drains to enable the free flow of water when it rained to reduce the perennial flooding in Accra.
Accra continues to be submerged in water after a few hours of rainfall due to choked drains which do not allow for the free flow of water.
More than 10 people have been reported dead since the beginning of the rainy season this year. Last Sunday’s rains claimed six lives, including a soldier couple, according to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
Some environmental experts have wondered why the government did not carry out works on the drains ahead of the rains, even after the Ghana Meteorological Authority had predicted more rains this year than the country recorded last year.
Attitudinal change needed
Ms Dapaah noted that although there were some floods which could not be controlled, others were controllable by ensuring that the drains were clear to carry the water whenever it rained.
She, therefore, underscored the need for attitudinal change to stop the indiscriminate dumping of refuse into drains, saying that “anyone caught could face a jail term”.
She further noted that the Ministry of Sanitation would soon distribute 40,000 bins to households and other places to avoid the indiscriminate dumping of refuse, while sanitation guards would be on the lookout for anyone who would throw rubbish about.
She also said her ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), was working to get legislation that would ensure that plastic manufacturers used biodegradable materials in their products to reduce the plastic menace in the city.
Briefing the minister on the progress of the GAMA project, the Coordinator, Mr George Asiedu, said 19,917 household toilets had been constructed in the GAMA so far.
He said the number exceeded the target of 19,100 envisioned for the end of the project in May next year.
“We have exceeded the target 13 months ahead of the closing date that we were given by our sponsors and this shows that the project is well managed,” he stated.
He also said 255 toilets had been provided for schools within the defined area.
Additionally, a 255-kilometre pipeline had been laid for low-income people within the GAMA, while 5,143 new service connections for water had been completed to serve about 370,000 people within the area, he said.
As part of the effort by the GAMA-SWP to control the perennial flooding in Accra, Mr Asiedu said, 22 drains in the capital city had been earmarked to be dredged and de-silted.