Accra Mayor inspects desilting of drains along flood prone areas

The new Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, and a delegation of government officials on Friday toured key areas in the metropolis notorious for flooding during heavy rains.

The Greater Accra Region Minister, Ishmael Ashietey, Members of Parliament, District Chief Executives and officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were part of the delegation that toured the flood-prone areas in a bid to access dredging works ongoing at selected drains.

The delegation visited areas such as the Osu Castle, Borla Junction (Sukura), Kaneshie and Glefe, all flood prone areas in the metropolis.

Dredging of major drains at these areas by Dredge Masters were ongoing when the delegation visited.

“Once the desilting is going on we may have [fewer] floods but I think Ghanaians also should assure as that they will stop dumping refuse into the drains, and they will also cover the sand in their communities so that it will not [choke] the drains,” the Accra Mayor.said.

Photo: Nii Adjei Sowah talking to journalists after the tour

He said he will collaborate with the Regional Minister, NADMO and other stakeholders to ensure the perennial floods during the rainy season in Accra comes to end.

Floods in Accra have become a common feature and analysts have blamed the debacle on poor engineering and indiscriminate dumping of wastes into drains.

The June 3, 2015, fire and flood disaster that claimed at least 150 lives was the wake-up call for action against the annual phenomenon.

The delegation hopes that the dredging works along with other safety measures will prevent a recurrence of the devasting floods.

Flood-prone areas in Accra

The Mallam Junction, Sakaman, Pambrose Salt, Mpoase, Glefe, Agege, Gbegbeyise and Mamprobi in Accra West as flood prone. Similarly, in Accra East, part of Korle Bu, Alajo, parts of Accra New Town, the North and South Industrial areas, Awudome, parts of Adabraka, Kantamanto, Ussher Town, Korle Gonno, James Town, the Osu Castle and its immediate surrounding areas, the South La Estates, the Trade Fair site and its immediate surroundings, Teshie, especially Camp 2, Wajir and the Whitller Barracks are areas have been identified as flood prone areas.

Accra’s problem

According to experts, Accra, which is sited in a low-lying area, experiences flooding annually mainly because of the haphazard construction of houses, especially on water courses, the poor drainage system and a poor waste management challenge that lead to residents turning drains into refuse dumps.

In 2011, floods in the country resulted in the death of more than 30 people nationwide, with 15 victims in Accra, in addition to the destruction of property running into millions of cedis.

Similar incidents were recorded in 1968, 1995,1997, 1999, 2001, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

While almost everybody agrees that the dumping of refuse into drains is part of the problem, opinions are divided over the resolve by the government and the city authorities to demolish buildings on water courses.

While public opinion is swayed in favour of demolition, there are others who hold the view that the various metropolitan and municipal assemblies in the city are to blame for issuing permits or looking elsewhere while people built haphazardly.