Accra, June 3, GNA - Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Minister of Works and Housing, has called for active collaboration from the citizenry to address the menace of flooding because government alone cannot win the fight.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said it was mandatory on all Ghanaians to complement the efforts of government by adhering to proper solid waste disposal practices to save the country from flood disasters.
This was in a statement signed by the Minister and copied to the Ghana News Agency to mark six years anniversary of the June 3 disaster in the country, which claimed hundreds of lives and property in Accra.
The statement advised homebuilders to desist from paving their compounds entirely and consider the introduction of vegetation to reduce the volume of storm water runoff from their compounds into public drains.
“Additionally, to mitigate flooding, the Ministry of Works and Housing appeals for the enforcement of the planning laws and building codes to prevent development in waterways, floodplains and wetlands,” it said.
The statement said government had collaborated with the World Bank to invest $200 million to implement the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development project and that it would mitigate flood risks and address the solid waste management challenges in the Odaw Drainage Basin where the unfortunate event occurred.
It also involves the reconstruction of some bridges to remove identified impediments to the flow of water in the basin when it rains, and the construction of detention ponds upstream of the Odaw Basin, to hold large volumes of water that will lead to flooding, especially around Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
“This project includes; extensive dredging of the Odaw River and Korle Lagoon. While efforts are underway to procure a contractor for the extensive dredging activities through international competitive bidding, Messrs Dredge Masters will continue with the on-going engagement to clear silt and sand, and other solid waste materials in the drainage channel to make room for storm water,” the statement said.
It said government in January 2017, invested an amount of GHC 559 million in the National Flood Control and Priority Drainage Programme, and would continue to invest more resources across the country.
On June 3, 2015, about 152 Ghanaians lost their lives while others sustained various degrees of injuries and some, displaced through a twin-disaster; an explosion at the GOIL fuel station at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and flooding of the national capital.
A spark of a generator was said to have come in contact with fuel at the filling station with fire spreading in the floodwaters.
“Today, as the nation commemorates six years of the infamous June 3 tragedy, government commiserates with the families and loved ones of victims of this disaster. Our thoughts and prayers remain with them”, it said.