Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has disclosed that about 10 billion dollars will be required to construct subterranean drainage system to help deal with the country’s perennial flooding.
Although he said a subterranean drain is capital-intensive, he indicated “we do not have a choice”, adding “we would have to tackle this by going to the capital/bond market to raise about US$10 billion to undertake such a project.”
“I am of the humble view that in the long-run constructing subterranean drains would pay off instead of the country having to pay more money for the yearly desilting of drains and gutters,” he said.
Mr Atta Akyea made the observation while on a tour to kick-start an exercise of actively involving communities to desilt their gutters in flood-prone areas in Accra.
The ‘de-silt choked gutters exercise’ is a collaboration between the Ministries of Works and Housing, Local Government and Rural Development, Sanitation and Water Resources, Dredge Masters, Zoomlion Ghana Limited and the various MMDAs.
It is aimed at ensuring averting flood during the rainy season which destroys lives, properties and livelihoods.
The minister was accompanied by the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, and Executive Chairman of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, and some assembly members.
The tour took Mr Atta Akyea to communities including Chorkor Chemuna, Borla Junction area, Sukura, and Zamrama Line—all in the Ablekuma South Constituency of the Greater Accra Region.
He stressed that constructing subterranean drains across the country will offer what he described as a ‘permanent fix’ to the country’s perennial flooding and its attendant effects.
The Minister also explained that a subterranean drainage system would put all the gutters and drains underground, instead of open drains which have been with us since independence.
Subterranean drainage system will prevent the prying eyes of recalcitrant citizens from tipping garbage from their homes into gutters, something that usually choke gutters and eventually cause flooding during the raining season.
At Chorkor Chemuna, Mr Atta Akyea, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuijie, Dr Siaw Agyepong joined hands with the residents to desilt the heavily choked gutters in the community.
Zoomlion Ghana Limited brought in personnel and waste management vehicles in support of the exercise, while Dredge Masters’ workers were also seen busily desilting drains in the said communities.