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Trouble looms at Abofu! .10 large Odaw draw slaps collapse . Poses danger to lives, property

Tragedy is imminent at Abofu, a suburb of Achimota in the Greater Accra Region as part of the concrete walls of the Odaw River drain, stretching from Santana to the New Achimota overhead, have caved in, causing floods in the area during downpours.

If the problem is not fixed, the next heavy rains and subsequent overflow of the drain could submerge houses in the area, damage property and even lead to loss of lives.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the area yesterday, more than 10 large slabs on both sides of the drain had collapsed into the river, impeding free flow of the river.

The collapsed slaps have exposed the soil at the river bank to massive erosion that is eating close to the fence walls of nearby buildings.

The last flood has left its marks on the walls of neighbouring buildings, including the GH Media School.

The drain, constructed by the Kufuor administration, according to residents, has been weakened and unable to accommodate the pressure of the river during rains due to lack of maintenance.

That is not all. There are cracks in some of the existing slabs which could deepen and collapse sooner than later.

The situation, if unchecked in the shortest possible time, could affect the rail track, lying close to the drain.

A resident of the area, Philip Nyarko, told the Ghanaian Times that about seven of the slabs caved in about three years ago, during the June 3 disaster while four more slabs behind the GH Media School collapsed, three weeks ago.

He expressed fear that havoc could be caused, leading to the loss of lives and poverty, if the drain was not fixed immediately.

 He said residents were tired of occasional visits by officials from the government and assembly which do not yield any result.

Another resident, Kofi Attah, told the Ghanaian Times, said the river was not overflowing till the slabs started breaking off.

He said two weeks ago, the Assembly man of the Abofu-Achimota Electoral Area, visited the site adding that “All we want is that the drain should be repaired to save us any trouble.

The Assembly man, James Akogo, corroborated all that had been observed by the reporter and said by the residents, saying that the issue had been a source of worry for the area for a long time and needed immediate attention.

He said letters had been sent to the Okaikwei North Municipal Assembly and other higher authorities, who had visited the site but action was yet to be taken.

About a week ago, he said officials from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), visited the area to acquaint themselves with the situation.

Mr Akogo said he had been made aware that the rehabilitation of the drain was the responsibility of the Hydrological Services Department of the Ministry of Works and Housing but personnel from the department were yet to initiate any repair work.

Efforts to get a response from the Director of the department, Mr Herbert Owusu -Ansah were unsuccessful. More than three telephone calls and a text message to his phone were neither answered nor returned as of the time of going to press.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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