Despite investing a total of GH¢117.711 million by the government to construct of drains and culverts in flood-prone areas in the country from 2015 to 2019, the problem of flooding persists, with the country experiencing at least one major flood disaster every year resulting in the loss of lives and property.
These were contained the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on Provision of Flood Control Drains by Hydrological Services Department of the Ministry of Works and Housing.
The problem of flooding has not lessened due the lack of maintenance, inadequate sized culverts and blockage of drains, a worrying situation which the Auditor General’s Department has tasked the Hydrological Services Department (HSD) of the Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH) to initiate corrective actions to control and mitigate flooding in the country.
It emerged that there was delay in the payment to some contractors for which reason they abandoned the projects or suspended works, while others were not paid due to shoddy works.
The report signed by Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, Auditor-General, was done in compliance with Article 187(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and Section 13(e) of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584)and submitted on July 9, 2021 to Parliament in accordance with Section 20 of the Ghana Audit Service Act.
It stated that the HSD and the MWH did not maintain completed existing drains because maintenance was not prioritised and therefore not included in annual activities, plans and budgets to enable implementation.
Consequently, the report found that unmaintained drains had weeds, silts, debris that impeded the smooth flow of water and reduced the effectiveness of the drains to mitigate flooding.
“In our opinion, HSD’s implemented measures have largely not been effective in controlling and mitigating flooding in the country. I have made
recommendations to HSD/MWH, to have a long term and holistic planning of drainage development and collaborate with other key player agencies”, the Auditor General said.
Adding, “I have also recommended that HSD prioritise the development of Drainage Master Plans as a blue print to guide key players to align drainage facilities and other civil infrastructure that create conflicts in drainage networks and reduced the efficiency and effectiveness of storm water drains.”
Meanwhile, statistics from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) indicate that a total of 1,446 flood events occurred with the loss of 510 lives, 309 varying degrees of injuries, 54,744 houses inundated with the destruction 136,563 acres of farmlands between 2015 and 2020.
BY NORMAN COOPER