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28 February 2017

Accra drainage to cost $700m to fix, Atta Akyea promises to find money

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Works and Housing Minister Samuel Atta Akyea says he would require $700 million to permanently fix the flooding menace in Accra.

Although the raining season is some two months away, Sunday’s downpour was a warning that another flooding disaster awaits the capital.

The minister, who has been touring some parts of the capital which were flooded following Sunday’s torrential rain said temporary measures would be put in place to avert flooding in the future especially in the Circle area.

He explained that, “from here, we are going to ensure that we do what will meet the emergency situations. The de-silting of drains is going to be carried out.

“Tentatively, I am seeing something in the neighbourhood of $700 million to fix what is in this area alone…there are other areas in places to attend to outside Accra.

During his vetting, Mr Akyea said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) would implement strategies designed by the previous government to solve the perennial flooding in Accra and other parts of the country.

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He told Parliament’s Appointments Committee Tuesday, the flooding situation in the country would be better in the coming days.

In 2012 there was an approved loan facility worth $663,299,497 to be prefinanced by the Conti Group for Accra Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater Alleviation Project to work on the perennial flooding in the capital, Accra.

The project is in two stages which would be completed within a five-year period.

The first stage of the project was started in 2013. It involved cleaning and excavating 150,000 metres of channels and was earmarked to be completed within nine months.

Some of the major drainages tackled were the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP) interceptor area, Central Business Drainage (CBD) and Odaw Channel.

The second phase started in December 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2017. During this stage, 15 kilometres of storm sewer and combination sewer works would be installed.

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Also, six kilometres of priority drains which would include the Mataheko, Mamponse, South Kaneshie and Odorna drains would be rehabilitated.

Although the execution of the project has so far stalled owing to lack of funds Atta Akyea is optimistic government would secure the loan to execute the project.

“My only new approach will be finding money. The engineering sense won’t change. We are not going to reinvent the wheel. The engineers have put together the solution.

“All we need to do as a solution is to get the cash. If you have the money, the engineers will just roll out the plans and they will start working and you won’t see this again…this is what stares at us in the face every year, but we will find the money and do it.”

For the time being, Mr. Akyea said he would focus on dredging some critical areas that would give “a quick fix to ensure there is the free flow into the lagoon and eventually into the sea.”

 

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