Civil Engineer, Abdulai Mahama doubts if the government’s current approach to ending flooding in the country’s capital will yield positive results.
The engineer said, although desilting drains in Accra is necessary, the extension of drain lines on a quarterly basis should be prioritized to tackle the problem.
“We can punish offenders for putting refuse [into drains] but Odaw is about 90 percent filled with filth, not polythene bags. So if we do the desilting and we do not go upstream to extend the line drains year by year or quarterly by quarterly basis, whatever we are doing in Accra is just a gimmick and the next year [flooding] will visit us again.”
“In the immediate future, when we are done with the desilting of the Odaw, what government ought to do is to extend the line drains from Abofu and beyond. If we identify that there are other sources of the receptacle as to where we get silt to enter the Odaw directly, we need to make sure those areas are curtailed,” the engineer said on Citi TV/FM’s The Big Issue.
He pointed out that the effort to dredge the Odaw River did not see the light of day due to the government’s “knee jerk approach towards the solution.”
Engineer Mahama said the dredging of the Odaw will require a huge investment of money and time.
“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 stated 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 and immediately we are done with the desilting of the Odaw, we have to go to the next area, to start tackling the Abofu stretch towards Dome, Kwabenya roundabout, towards the Berekusu roundabout otherwise, we will do all the hard desilting with day and night approach yet in the next September or October, the same area will be desilted again. That area is a difficult area.”
Accra is usually flooded after a few hours of rain as a result of poor planning and a weak drainage system.
Although the government has not spelt out a detailed plan to address the problem, the Minister of Works and Housing, Atta Kyea believes the prosecution of persons who dump garbage into drains and the relocation of residents in parts of the country might lead to a solution.