The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has given the assurance that the government will continue to commit the needed resources to addressing the drainage challenges being experienced in some parts of the country.
He said although, the problems of flooding in major cities in recent time, had led to the construction of drains through various government interventions, with existing ones undergoing excavation, rechanneling and maintenance across the country, these efforts would be boosted towards reducing the perennial devastation of flooding.
He was speaking to journalists during a two-day tour to the Northern Region to inspect some projects being undertaken by the Ministry.
The Minister assessed the major drainage channels in the Tamale metropolis notable amongst them are the up and downstream of the Karalega drainage channel as well as the Gariba channel that connects many tributaries from the city centre.
It would be recalled that some suburbs of Tamale Metropolis had had recent perennial flooding following a heavy rains, causing damage to properties, and affecting livelihoods of people.
MrAsenso-Boakye said despite the aforementioned interventions by the government nationwide, the establishment of an administrative and legal framework would be the long-term solution in the county’s efforts towards the provision of drainage infrastructure to nip in the bud, the perennial flooding and its associated challenges
This, he indicated, was the reason the Ministry was currently pursuing the Hydrological Authority Bill, which when passed, would mandate it to develop a comprehensive drainage master plan to mitigate the effects of flooding and the protection of the country’s coastlines.
Having observed the structural defects associated with some of the drains, Asenso-Boakye said the Ministry would engage its technical department to put plans in place to address the issues.
“I have seen that some undersized culverts need to be fixed or replaced to allow for free flow of storm water and this working visit has given me that understanding to be able to engage the technical officers to put plans in place to address the Tamale drainage challenges”, he stated.
Mr Asenso-Boakye, however, expressed worry about the dumping of waste along drains that further exposes residents to floods in the event of rains.
“The drainage issue I have seen here in Tamale today is not different from the ones in Accra and Kumasi. Certainly, there are sanitation issues. I have seen dumping of waste into drainage channels which impede flow and cause all kinds of problems,” he said.
The GulkpeNaa (Chief of Tamale) whom the Minister had called on earlier expressed his appreciation to the Minister for his visit and concerns for the people of Tamale and prayed that the works of the Minister become successful.