By Edmund Mingle
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) says the ongoing dredging of the Odaw drain and Korle Lagoon is paying off as the channel has been able to contain more flood waters following heavy rains in the last two days.
But for the dredging through which is over 70 per cent of the channel has been desilted, the flooding situation in Accra would have been worse.
Although the Assembly is happy for the results from the dredging exercise being undertaken by Dredge Masters Limited, a subsidiary of Zoomlion Ghana, it admits that more work remained to be done in freeing up the drains in the capital.
Mr. Graham Sarbah, Drains Maintenance Director at AMA, interacting with journalists during a tour of the Korle Lagoon area on Monday after Sunday night’s heavy downpour, said apart from the dredging of the Odaw channel, a number of key storm drains were desilted by the Assembly in preparation for the raining season.
|Mr. Graham Sarbah addressing journalists at the Korle Lagoon site|
He said due to the poor environmental practices by households and individuals that continue to result in the choking of drains with solid waste, there has to be sustained dredging exercises across the capital to ensure the free flow of flood water.
He said it was regrettable that in spite of the increase public education against indiscriminate waste disposal, people continue to dispose rubbish into drains, most of which congregate in the main Odaw and Korle Lagoon, resulting in a reduction of water intake by the channel.
Mr. Sarbah, who was accompanied by officials of Dredge Masters on the tour, said the attitude of Ghanaians especially those living along the drains must change, otherwise the country would continue to use money that could have been sued for other projects, to desilt drains.
He said the drains the Assembly has desilted in Accra which he desbed as a low lying area, included the Kaneshie, Mamponse, Shukura, Achimota-Apenkwa and Sowutuom channels that connect to the Odaw drain.
During the tour, the team found large quantity of waste materials, mostly plastic waste that has undertaken portions of the Korle Lagoon end of the Odaw channel.
That, according to Mr. Sarbah, meant more work for the dredging machines.
Mr. Ansara Ahmed Khan, Project Director of Dredge Masters, also told Journalists that although more than 70 per cent of the work had been done, the company has intensified its operations so as ensure that the lagoon was adequately ready for the rains.
As a result, he said two more dredging machines, known as “Water Masters,” and four excavators would soon be deployed to the site augment the fleet so as to speed up operations. Currently, four water masters, four excavators and a number of tipper trucks are being used for the exercise.
For his part, Thomas Mustapha Ashong, Presiding Member of AMA, commended the dredging company for the progress of the exercise, and assured the company of the continuous support and cooperation from the Assembly in ensuring the success of the project.