With choked gutters and drains identified as among the cause of perennial flooding in the capital city and other urban areas, Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has proposed the establishment of a ‘Drainage Bond’ to raise money for subterranean drains and other related infrastructure to permanently fix the problem.
Describing the proposal as a radical one, the Minister said at least $10 billion would be needed to construct these subterranean drains to help deal with flooding during the rainy season.
“I am of the humble view that in the long-run constructing subterranean drains would pay off instead of the country having to pay money for the yearly desilting of drains and gutters,” he said.
Mr Atta Akyea made the proposal on the sidelines of an exercise in parts of Accra to desilt gutters and drains.
The exercise, which is ongoing at Chemunaa, Sukura and its environs – all flood-prone areas in the capital – is a collaboration between the Ministries of Works and Housing, Local Government and Rural Development, Sanitation and Water Resources, Dredge Masters, Zoomlion Ghana Limited and the Assemblies.
The exercise is aimed at ensuring that the drains and gutters within communities, are free to allow easy flow of water to prevent floods which have the tendency to destroy lives, properties and livelihoods.
Accompanied by the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Executive Chairman of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, and some assembly members, the Minister toured all the major flood-prone areas where the desilting was ongoing.
The tour took Mr Atta Akyea to communities including Chorkor Chemunna, Borla Junction area, Shukura, and Zamrama Line — all in the Ablekuma South Constituency, Greater Accra Region.
He stressed that constructing subterranean drains across the country will offer what he described as a ‘permanent fix’ to the country’s perennial flooding and its attendant effects.
Furthermore, he explained that a subterranean drainage system would put all the gutters and drains underground, instead of open drains which have been with us since independence.
He believed that this type of drainage system will prevent citizens from tipping garbage from their homes into the open drains, resulting in choked gutters with its attendant floods.
At Chorkor Chemunna, Mr Atta Akyea, the MP for the area, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuijie, the Mayor of Accra and Dr Siaw Agyepong joined hands with the residents to desilt the heavily choked gutters in the community.
The Works and Housing Minister attributed the incidence of putting garbage in drains to the Ghanaian sub-culture of creating filth.
He described this as a “bad habit” that comes back to punish residents in the form of breeding of mosquitoes, dysentery, diarrhea because of the poor management of the environment.
Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, admonished residents in the national capital to show positive attitudes towards their environs.
These, he said, included refraining from throwing garbage into open drains, indiscriminate littering and ensuring that their environs are always clean, adding that his outfit would enforce the bye-laws on the environment.
On the footbridge across the Chemu Lagoon which was destroyed recently, the Accra Mayor announced that plans were underway to build a concrete bridge which will also enable vehicular.