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Regional News of Sunday, 15 June 2014

Source: Graphic Online

KMA to be strict on lawbreakers

Following two days of intermittent rains last week, a number of residents of Anwomaso, near Domeabra in the Kumasi Metropolis, have had their homes flooded by River Subin.

The frontages of many houses were filled with rain water, cutting residents off from other parts of the city.

Some residents had to wade through water before getting access to the nearest road.

A resident, Yaw Opoku, who has lived in the area for 25 years, said the problem had been persistent. He believed that if the river was dredged and a bridge that was over it expanded, the problem of perennial flooding would be solved.

He said flood waters that entered his home soaked and damaged his children’s laptops and books.

According to him, residents tried some time ago to dredge the river but they were prevented by the traditional authority who said some rituals would have to be performed before any such activity could take place.

Interestingly, he said, the resident who had brought up the idea to dredge the river was fined to pay a ram to the traditional authorities.

These came to light when the Mayor of Kumasi, Mr Kojo Bonsu, visited some parts of the city to assess the situation a day after the intense rainfall.

The Mayor said the city authorities had dredged some water bodies and cleared gutters in the city before the onset of the rains.

“Had that not happened, it would have been quite a different story that would have been told as most of the drains in the city are choked with waste,” he said.

He appealed to residents of the city to stop indiscriminate disposal of waste into drains and streams.

He said the unrestrained disposal of waste was one of the causes of flooding in the metropolis. He has, therefore, appealed to residents to always use refuse bins provided them and dump their refuse at appropriate sites.

Sites visited

The mayor visited Susuanso, Atonsu S-line, Dichemso, South Suntreso and Anwomaso. With the exception of Anwomaso where houses got flooded and others got cut off from the main road, other areas did not suffer very distressing situations.

Even though some drains were filled beyond capacity when it rained, by midday, the next day the waters had receded because of a previous dredging exercise the assembly had undertaken.

At the Atonsu S-Line, the Mayor said the assembly had to dredge the Susuan River to widen it to enable it to take more water when it rained.

According to him, the assembly was to benefit from a 38-million Euro facility from the Agence Francaise de Development (AfD), a French international development agency, to turn the road from the Coca Cola junction (breweries) to Suwuah Junction into a dual carriage way.

Mr Kojo Bonsu, also reiterated the assembly’s resolve to demolish all buildings sited on water ways to make way for running water to have its course.

He said it was never true that the assembly issued permit to people to build on water courses and challenged anyone who had received such a permit to produce it.

According Mr Bonsu, most of the people who had built in water courses did so without consulting the assembly and usually built their houses in the night.

He cautioned that the assembly would be resolute and ensure that people conformed to the assembly’s bye-laws. He said those found to have flouted the law would be prosecuted.

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