Onyasia, Lafa drain designs reviewed
Watertech, the local company engaged by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to review the designs for the two drains, explained that the new draft design was in accordance with a local government directive for all drains in Accra to be covered.
At the second consultative seminar on the projects, the Managing Director of Watertech, Mr Ben Yankson, indicated that the reviewed design has been presented to the MLGRD for study and acceptance.
The first seminar, which elicited the views, concerns, and ideas of stakeholders, including residents along the project area, officials from the road sector , National Disaster Management Organisation, MLGRD and assembly members in the catchment areas took place in April, this year.
The construction of the two storm drains, to be partially financed by ORIO, a Dutch government development agency, is aimed at reducing the perennial flooding in communities that the two water bodies pass through.
The new design and additional cost
Funding from ORIO is 40 million euros, which is enough to construct the 11.3 kilometre Lafa and the 5.8 kilometre Onyasia drains as open channels.
According to Reverend E.N.D. Amoo, an official of Watertech, the total cost of the two closed drains would, however, cost 59,800,000 euros.
The options presented by Watertech in its preliminary design is for the government to secure additional funding to construct the full length of the drains as closed channels or construct them half-way to meet the current funding.
The Onyasia and Lafa drains are two of the eight major channels that drain the Accra metropolis in the rainy season.
The Onyasia drain runs from Okponglo through to Alajo, and joins the Odaw drain. The upper reach of the drain is covered with grass and bushes while the lower part, which starts from Emmanuel Eye Clinic through Dzorwulu to Alajo, has been heavily encroached upon.
The Lafa drain on the other hand is joined by tributaries from the Gbawe Hills, the Sowutuom drain, the Awoshie drain, the Mallam drain and the Gbawe drain, which connect the Lafa at various points. The drain then continues through the Pambros Salt Flats and finally ends in the estuary of the Densu river before entering the Atlantic Ocean.
Explaining the benefits of the project when completed, Reverend Amoo of Watertech Limited said the capacity of the two drains would be enhanced to carry more runoffs during the rainy season and also reduce flooding.
As part of the programme, the two drains would be cleared, deepened, widened and lined. Illegal structures which have also been sited along the path of the two water courses would also be removed.
Currently, the two drains are silted with debris, weeds and are polluted. Some sections have also become a receptacle for garbage and faecal waste.
Accra Drainage Master Plan
The construction of the Lafa and the Onyasia drains forms part of the implementation of the Accra Drainage Master Plan which was first designed in 1992. That master plan which was first prepared by McDonalds has since gone through various reviews. The ongoing redesigning of the Lafa and Onyasia drains form part of the design review.
By Naa Lamiley Bentil/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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