Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA,) Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, has waded into the controversy surrounding whether residents of New Fadama (Sodom and Gomorrah) will be cleared or allowed to stay.
According to the mayor of Accra, contrary to statements that government, through the AMA will be sacking residents of Old Fadama from their place of abode, the Assembly will consider the UN Charter on Habitat and allow residents of Sodom and Gomorrah to move 100 metres away from the Korle Lagoon to give way for the dredging and the construction of the lagoon.
Dr. Vanderpuije said this when he and members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Innovation toured some flood-prone areas in the Accra metropolis yesterday.
Members of the committee were at the AMA to discuss, interact and familiarise themselves with the Assembly and also get to know some of the challenges the Assembly was facing in the discharge of its duties.
They were also there to find possible ways of mitigating the challenges the Assembly is facing in the areas of environmental sanitation and flooding in the metropolis.
Both sides [AMA and the Committee] agreed to work together to address issues confronting the Assembly.
According to Dr. Vanderpuije, although the Assembly has done a lot in assuring that residents in Accra live comfortably and in a clean environment, it is constrained with lack of logistics.
He noted that for the past four years, the AMA has tried as much as it could to address the problems culminating in the restoration of the Sabah, Oblogo, and Mallam Landfill Sites for profitable ventures in the communities.
He indicated that the Assembly is implementing the Polluter-Pay System, where 9 contractors have been contracted with the business of collecting refuse in Accra, following the fact that on a daily basis Accra generates 2,800 tons of refuse.
The mayor told the Committee that the Assembly has also be involved in the disilting of major drains from 2012 and 2013 culminating in the reduction of floods in the metropolis.
Dr. Vanderpuije averred that the Assembly is also embarking on rigorous social and infrastructural developmental projects that will see to the issue of poor sanitation and flooding being curtailed.
He mentioned the construction of water retention reservoirs, storm drains, and the construction of engineered landfill sites with a $500-million Exim Bank loan facility government contracted for the Assembly towards the projects.
He explained that the Assembly is waiting on the ministry of finance and economic planning to approve the said loan for the projects to take off.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Science and Innovation and Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi Constituency in the Volta Region, Hon. Edem Asimah, thanked the mayor and the Assembly for steps being taken to address the perilous flooding and poor sanitary conditions in the Accra metropolis.
He expressed the hope that Parliament will impress upon the ministry of finance and economic planning to take quick steps in approving the $500million loan facility for work to begin on all the proposed projects.