Floods worsen sanitation in Accra

Four days after heavy rains that caused flooding in many areas in Accra, the sanitation situation in the national capital is not too good.

Choked drains, refuse littered on the shoulders of roads and overflowing refuse containers are some of the insanitary spectacles found in the city Sunday.

During visits to some parts of Accra, the Daily Graphic found a number of women seated close to the drains selling foodstuffs.

Areas visited included Agbogboloshie, the Makola and the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) markets, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP).

Last Thursday’s downpour, which lasted more than 10 hours, caused flooding in the city and its environs, including Adabraka, Awoshie, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Mallam, North Kaneshie, Abeka, Dansoman and Odorkor.

Major drains overflowed their banks, while the Odaw River brought out all the garbage, including plastic and e-waste, dumped into it. Agbogbloshie Market

At the Agbogbloshie Market, most sections of the drains along the road were choked with filth.

Some of the traders told the Daily Graphic that last Thursday’s heavy rains had flooded the area, and took some of the foodstuffs away.

They blamed the situation on the piles of refuse in the drains.

A salt seller, Ms Ruth Odoom, said some male porters had been collecting refuse from the drains and indicated that the porters had collected the refuse a day after last Thursday’s downpour.

However, she said traders and visitors to the market continued to dump refuse in the drains, a situation which kept them always choked.

Along the road, there was a container overflowing with refuse, with some of the garbage lying close to the container.

According to the supervisor of the refuse dump, Nii Okine Adamafio, the place was turned into a refuse dump following the closure of some refuse dumps in Accra two months ago.

He said Zoomlion Company came in occasionally to collect the refuse for onward dumping somewhere. CMB Market

At the CMB Market, garbage collected from the drains were scattered on the shoulders of the road.

The traders told the Daily Graphic that the area got flooded during last Thursday’s heavy rains due mainly to the filth in the drains.

They said some of the youth in the area collected the refuse from the drains to prevent further floods in the area but were yet to cart the refuse away. KLERP

Plastic waste, mainly containers and e-waste, had collected in the Korle Lagoon, at the project site of KLERP.

The containers had covered the surface of the water, with some people seen walking on the shoulders of the lagoon collecting some of the containers.

A worker at KLERP, Mr Joseph Asare, told the Daily Graphic that the plastic waste was from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and the Konkomba Market.

He said the continued dumping of refuse in the lagoon had affected work on the project and indicated that the contractors had suspended work for the past three months. Makola Market

The sanitation situation at the Makola Market was not too bad, although there was an overpowering stench from the drains along the road.

There was also a refuse container loaded with garbage along the road, with refuse littered in front of some shops.

Generally, there was improvement in the sanitation situation at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

For instance, the Odaw drain did not have the usual piles of refuse but weeds had grown inside the drain. 

There were also a few piles of refuse on sections of the road. Health concerns

The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Health, Mr Tony Goodman, said the selling of food close to choked drains and refuse by market women posed health hazards.

For instance, he said, flies from the drains and the refuse could settle on the food, a situation which could cause cholera after consumption.

Mr Goodman said the Ministry of Health had already started its cholera campaign at the markets and indicated that the ministry would intensify the campaign.

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