General News of Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Source: GNA

Stakeholders identify causes of flooding

Accra, Nov. 9, GNA – Stakeholders at a day’s meeting on the mitigation of effects of floods, in Accra on Wednesday, have identified urbanization, human activities and poor land planning as factors that contribute to flooding, especially in Ghanaian cities.

They called for a multi-sectoral approach, the application of appropriate technology and intensification of education to provide information for the detection and early warning systems on floods.

The event that was organized by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, brought together officials from the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Town and Country Planning Department and the Hydrological Services Department.

The participants said the phenomenon accounted for the highest record level of 313 millimeters in the ten-hour downpour of June 19, 2009, with the recent torrential rains registering 125 millimeters mark, and a low record of 44 millimeters in July, 4, 2007.

They have also called for the improvements and construction of more physical structures that control the flow of storm water and the update of plans to mitigate the situation.

Mr Wise Ametefe, Deputy Director of the Hydrological Services Department, said there was the need to focus on the combined use of channelization and the creation of water retention and detention ponds.

He called for an increase in rain water harvesting and the reduction of paving in residential developments to stem the incidences of flooding. Mr Ametefe recommended that central government should fund drainage projects and the intensification of public education and legislation on flood management.

He called for the use of reservoir storage in urban flood management, the construction of flood protection structures at appropriate locations and the mapping of potential flood areas to access possible hazard and prevention. Mr Ametefe said there was the need for the enforcement of laws on building and the institution of appropriate penalties for defaulters. Mr. Franklin Kwame Twumasi, Chief Executive Officer of Linx Consults, called on the authorities to educate the public on flooding and improve the collection of waste.

He said there was the need for an integrated approach to flood management to mitigate the impact of flooding, and the updating of existing systems to cater for current situation and projecting the future needs to close the gaps. Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing called on stakeholders to collectively find lasting solutions to the perennial flooding in Accra and other parts of the country.