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General News of Sunday, 27 June 2021

Source: GNA

Government implementing flood control programmes - Asenso Boakye

Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, says the government is implementing flood control programmes to improve settlement resilience across the country.

In that regard; he explained that government was pursuing financing mechanisms for the issuance of the commitment certificate for the implementation process to commence.

Mr Asenso-Boakye; addressing the media in Accra on Sunday, to provide an update on the Ministry's drainage and flood management programme, said a total of GH¢450 million was invested in flood mitigation measures in the past four years and government was committed to mitigating flooding and, thus, rolled out several interventions to increase residence to flooding.

Some of those interventions include; drainage works and construction of culverts in Kwesimintsim, Hataso, Agbogba, Adenta, and Madina-Redco as well as sea defence walls in New Takoradi, Axim, Anomabo, Cape Coast and Elmina.

He said there was the implementation of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project being implemented in collaboration with the World Bank, to mitigate flood risk and addressing solid waste management challenges in the Odaw Drainage Basin.

Meanwhile, the Minister said the Dredge Masters, a drainage desilting firm, would continue the drainage works in the Odaw River Basin while efforts were underway to procure a contractor for the deferred and maintenance dredging under the GARID Project.

Mr Asenso Boakye said the Ghana Meteorological Agency had predicted heavy to moderate rains with thunderstorms in the months of June, July and August, this year, especially in the middle and northern sectors and urged the public to take precautionary measures as government implemented various interventions to halt unanticipated disasters.

"The Ministry has made some significant progress in the medium to long- term amidst the limited funding to implement planned policies and programmes but we need greater regard for rules and regulations governing our settlement planning and coastal development," the Minister added.

The Minister expressed concerns about the negative human attitudes such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse in open drains, saying, “Our safety and protection from flooding is a shared responsibility".

Mr Asenso-Boakye underscored the need for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enforce the planning laws and building regulations to prevent construction along waterways and wetlands.

He said in places where the laws were flouted, the assemblies should take decisive actions to rectify the situation.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Ghana Hydrological Authority to, among other things, develop a comprehensive drainage masterplan to mitigate the effects of flooding and protections of the coastline.

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