The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has expressed grave worry about the dumping of household solid waste into open drains.

This, he bemoans, continues to have adverse effects on government’s efforts in improving communities’ resilience to flooding.

Mr Asenso-Boakye said the safety of communities, especially those in flood-prone areas should be a shared responsibility, adding that citizens owe it a duty to support government’s effort in maintaining drainage capacity and reducing the likelihood of flooding by desisting from indiscriminate disposal of solid waste into drainage channels.

The Works and Housing Minister made these appeals when he inspected ongoing dredging works at the downstream end of the Odaw Basin near Korle Lagoon on Thursday in Accra.

Government has embarked on several interventions to increase the country’s resilience to flooding with financial commitment amounting to Gh450 million over the last four years.

These interventions, namely, the construction, excavation, rechanneling and maintenance of storm drains have resulted in a reduction of perennial devastating floods across the country in recent years.

Despite the successes chalked in the country’s flood management programme, Mr Asenso-Boakye said the rate at which people continue to dump refuse into the pathways of drainage facilities sets government back in its investments, noting that “Under no circumstance should anybody dump solid waste into drainage channels because it has a devastating effect on lives and property and on the economy as a whole.” 

With the rains being expected, the Works and Housing Minister indicated that a private dredging company, contracted by the Ministry, has been working in the past month on the Odaw Basin.

He added that the Greater Accra Resilience and Integrated Development (GARID) project will soon commence to complement the existing projects aimed at mitigating problems of flooding, especially communities along the channel of the Odaw Basin.

“Procurement exercises have already commenced and very soon the GARID project will come on stream with additional dredging activities and other construction works to complement the gains made to strengthen the country’s resilience to flooding,” he said.

Dredge Masters, the Private company undertaking the dredging of the Odaw Basin assured that the current exercise, under Phase 5 of the component, is ahead of schedule and will be completed before the rains set in.