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"Flooding Remains One Of The Most Threatening Disasters Confronting Cities"- Asenso-Boakye

The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye has admitted that flooding remains one of the most threatening disasters confronting cities across the country.

According to him, this is so despite the significant gains the Akufo-Addo Administration have made in minimizing the flood risk in such areas.

Addressing Journalists in Accra on Sunday, he said "Ladies and Gentlemen, notwithstanding the significant gains we have made in minimizing the flood risk in these areas, flooding remains one of the most threatening disasters confronting cities across the country. In the last few weeks, we have experienced some daunting incidents of flooding in the Greater Accra Region, with dire impact on lives, livelihoods and properties, as well as undermining the longevity of other critical infrastructure, such as roads and bridges"

The Minister added that without doubt, these result in devastating economic, social and environmental costs to the country.

"Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, government’s commitment to improving the resilience of our human settlements to flooding has been unwavering"

The Minister also explained that flooding, a perennial occurrence in Ghana for decades, has been most prominent in Accra, resulting in the loss of lives and livelihood, and damage to properties.

He stressed that in recent times, other urban centres, such as Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, Koforidua and Tamale have also been experiencing increasing incidents of flooding.

"It is to address the flooding challenge that the government has instituted the National Flood Control Programme, as a vehicle for mitigating flood risks, while increasing the resilience of our vulnerable communities."

"Over the past four years, investment in flood control measures under the 2018 and 2020 National Flood Control Programme (NFCP), has been the highest commitment by any government in our history, committing approximately GH¢450million" "To date, the 2018 and 2020 National Flood Control Programmes have completed the construction of 35km of drains, while over 1,000km of drains have been excavated, re-channeled and maintained across the country towards reducing the devastating perennial floods" "Indeed, during my recent tour of some parts of Accra, it is evidenced that the National Flood Control Programme has provided a tremendous relief in the communities in which they have been implemented and notable amongst these are Kuntunse Satellite, Achimota Mile 7, Katamanso, Mamprobi, Abeka-Ayigbe Town, Larbadi Olympia, Tse-Addo, Teshie Yoomo Specs, Nungua (United Church Area), Haatso, Madina Firestone, Madina Mayehot, Madina Redco, Madina Oblogo, Dome Crossing, Santa Maria (Plus FM and Washing Bay Area), A Land, Mallam-Gbawe, Weija GEICCEL, Kasoa Iron City, Kasoa Obom and Ashaiman, among others communities across the country."

He noted that flooding is not peculiar to Ghana, as evidenced by the recent incidents in various parts of the world, including Germany, France, Britain, China, Australia, India, South Africa and nearby Nigeria, among others. "Whilst accepting that these incidents globally point to the increasing role of climate change, we do not use that to excuse or shirk our responsibility to ensure flood-resilient drainage infrastructure for the present and the future" The Minister for Works and Housing hinted that his Ministry is still intensifying its efforts to mitigate flood risk across the country.

He added that his outfit will pursue the implementation of the National Flood Control Programme, and continue to engage the Ministry of Finance to secure additional funding for the 2022 Programme.

"Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, as part of efforts in tackling flooding in the most vulnerable communities, the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project is being implemented in collaboration with the World Bank, with the objective of mitigating flood risk and addressing the solid waste management challenges in the Odaw Drainage Basin" "Currently, the procurement process for the engagement of a Contractor for the Performance-Based dredging of the Odaw channel is far advanced and hopefully, the process will be concluded by the end of the month"

The sector Minister revealed that, draft detailed engineering designs for the construction of priority drainage interventions at Kaneshie, Nima and Achimota have been completed and are currently being jointly reviewed by the Ministry and the World Bank. He mentioned that it is expected that construction works will commence by the end of the year, 2022.

"Other important interventions include the construction of retention ponds in the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission area to hold large volumes of water, which would have otherwise flowed towards the city centre to cause flooding. Construction of the ponds are expected to commence by the end of the year"

"Moreover, the designs for a Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) for Accra have been completed and the processes leading to the engagement of a service provider to deliver the System have commenced" "With the Early Warning System, people in vulnerable communities will have the benefit of advanced notice of flooding so they can take steps to protect their lives and their valuables"

"Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, beyond GARID, the reinstallation, maintenance and monitoring of hydrological gauging stations within the White Volta, Oti and Pra River Basins to enhance the country’s preparedness for flood events through the collation of reliable, accurate, timely and robust hydrological data, have been undertaken. Mr. Asenso-Boakye revealed that his Ministry aims to extend the coverage to other significant water bodies.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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