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General News of Monday, 12 June 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

We need foreign aid to tackle tidal waves – Atta Akyea

The Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has said there is the need for external donor support to assist government permanently to address the persistent problems of tidal waves sweeping through coastal communities.

According to him, the existing sea defence project aimed at checking the problem is capital extensive, hence government cannot undertake it alone.

He made the comments on a visit to Blekusu in the Volta Region over the weekend, where severe tidal waves hit the town and rendered many homeless.

Atta Akyea said, “It is very expensive to manage the coast of any nation. For you to protect about 2 kilometres of the coast to prevent the ferocious powers of the sea from hitting the lands and destroying property is not cheap. Our national kitty is not in good shape to do that kind of job, so what we are doing now is to encourage foreign investors.”

In 2015, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration started construction of a sea defence wall in the area to stop the extensive erosion along the beach.

The project, which was handed to Amandi Holdings Limited to execute, was to be completed in 19 months at a cost of $40 million.

It however came to a halt, leaving the residents to bear the full brunt of the wave on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Ketu South, Fiifi Kwetey, who was part of the team that toured the affected areas in the Volta Region, lamented that securing approval for a budget to complete the project had been a challenge.

He urged that, the Finance Ministry looks at the possibility of providing money from its contingency fund to enable the defence work to continue.

He however noted that, the local authority will ensure settlements at risk of tidal waves are in the interim relocated.