Flood mitigation efforts: Govt to halt encroachment on water bodies nationwide …Housing Ministry, National Security join forces to deal with growing menace

The Ministry of Works and Housing is to join forces with the Ministry of National Security to clamp down on encroachment on the Kpesh­ie wetlands and other water bodies across the country.

Additionally, the Ministry is engaging its counterpart in charge of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development to enhance support for assemblies in dealing with the challenge of buildings in water ways and drainage buffers.

• Mr Francis AsensoBoakye (left) addressing the media
• Mr Francis AsensoBoakye (left) addressing the media

According to the Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso Boakye, the moves have become necessary due to growing human activities which were undermining ef­forts by the government to address flooding within Greater Accra and other parts of the country.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, he cited the filling of lagoons and wetlands with construction materials for development purposes as one of the human activities impeding flood control.

He said the building on drainage channels which was blocking free flow of storm water and the dumping of solid waste in drains which reduces their capacity to hold storm water were also on the increase.

Mr Asenso-Boakye noted that, addition­ally, gaps in the enforcement of planning laws and building regulations by the MMDAs have also contributed to the rise of human activities working against flood control projects.

Kpeshie Reserve in the La Dadekoto­pon Municipal Assembly; Tseaddo Drains and Teshie Bush Road Drains, both in the Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly and Roman Ridge (railway reserve line) and Villagio Site, both in the Ayawaso West Municipal Assem­bly, he said, were the areas where the human activities stated were ongoing.

The other areas, the Minister noted, include Amanfro (Dirus), Korkordjor and New Bortianor, all within the Ga South Municipality.

“Human activities undermine the impact of government’s investment to mitigate flood risks. We need citizens to support government’s efforts by respecting rules and regulations governing settlement planning and avoid development in water ways and drainage buffers.

Moreover, citizens have to be more cir­cumspect in managing household solid waste and desist from using our drainage channels as rubbish dumps,” Mr Asenso-Boakye stated.

The Ministry, he said, would enhance collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural De­velopment (MLGDRD) and the Ministry of National Security to ensure waterways were free of buildings that block the drainage channels and cause flooding in communities.

He called on chiefs, community leaders, civil society groups and the media to support government’s efforts in controlling floods by highlighting incidents of construction in waterways to enable appropriate state authorities to act promptly

Additionally, he urged for intensification of public education on the dangers of build­ing in waterways and improper disposal of solid waste.

“We can all support by highlighting inci­dents of construction in waterways so ap­propriate state authorities could act promptly and by educating the public on dangers of building in waterways and improper disposal of solid waste. Let us all support the Minis­try to achieve the bigger objective of making our communities resilient to flooding,” the Minister added.

Ahead of this year’s raining season, he said, desilting works have been undertaken in selected flood hotspots such as Kasoa Millennium City, Adenta Sakora, Nsakyi, Ablekuma, Dawhyenya and Dome Railway Crossing, New Legon, Santor, Adenta, San­go and Naapladjor drains.

The Ministry, Mr Asenso-Boakye said, would continue to engage the Ministry of Finance to raise the necessary funds to enhance the flood resilience of the various communities.


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