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Curbing flooding in Accra must be a national priority – Engineer Mahama

A civil engineer, Abdulai Mahama, has said that the only way to end the perennial flooding of certain areas in Accra is to treat the situation as a national priority.

Five years since the June 3 fire and flood disaster, things seem not to have changed.

Heavy rains on Tuesday, June 8, 2020, left some parts of Accra flooded for hours.

The downpour, which lasted for hours left many people around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange and adjoining communities displaced.

Some areas affected included Odaw, Avenor, Dansoman, Adabraka among other places.

Six people have been reported dead as a result, with several being forced to move out of their homes to seek shelter elsewhere.

Commenting on the situation on Citi FM/TV’s The Big Issue, the civil engineer explained that to be able to tackle the menace once and for all it must be given the priority that it deserves.

“We have to tackle this as a national priority because the way and manner in which this is being done, next year about this time we will still be here discussing this issue,” he said.

Engineer Mahama, in explaining the constraints involved in tackling the menace used the Odaw drain as an example.

He explained that the kind of equipment and commitment required for the exercise is currently lacking.

He described the current efforts in desilting the Odaw river as “a big joke”.

“What we are doing now is a big joke. If we want to do serious dredging of Odaw, it is like donating half of the infrastructure fund of all the drainage in the Accra to do the desilting. I did the calculation two days ago…And I said that in the current state we see at Odaw, we need about 281 days [to desilt it]. We need over 60 trucks to be working day and night so that maybe half a year we can desilt the Odaw,” he said.

It has now become a yearly ritual for places to get flooded while lives and properties are lost in Accra during the raining season.

Meanwhile, the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Water Resources, Works and Housing Committee, Emmanuel Bedzrah is demanding the urgent desilting of the country’s drainage system to tackle flooding in Ghana.

“Today has shown clearly that we have not done very well in terms of desilting our system in our country. The Minority has taken the view that this government has not committed resources in desilting our gutters.”

“Since last year, monies have been allocated in the budget, but unfortunately, none of those projects has been done. This has culminated into what is happening today. I think the government should do more in desilting drains. If you cannot do anything, at least desilt drains in the country,” said Mr. Bedzrah.

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