The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Wednesday called on contractors working on the Mamponse drainage system to clear all structures on the way of the drain to enable them complete work on time.
“Clear whatever is in your way,” he said.
Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, made the call when he inspected the construction of the drainage, which covers areas such as Alajo, Kaneshie, Abossey Okai, Dansoman and Mamprobi Camara.
The visit was to assess progress of the construction in order to prepare for the rains in March.
“Because of climate change, we have no control over the weather and we should ensure that we are ready anytime the rains come,” he said.
Mr Vanderpuije commended the contractors for their work and urged them to finish, at least most of the job, by March 2011. About 80 per cent of the work has been done.
He, however, bemoaned the use of the drains as a refuse dump by some residents. At most of the sites visited, the drains were filled with refuse and silt, preventing the water from flowing freely. Others also used the drains as places of convenience, giving the area around it a very bad odour.
Some residents complained that other people dumped the refuse there in the night. Moreover, the solid waste management contractor in charge of Alajo has not provided refuse bins for some of them.
Mr Vanderpuije tasked the Assembly’s Health Inspectorate to ensure that the refuse contractor (Zoomlion) registered and provided the refuse bins and also emptied them regularly to avoid residents using the drains as refuse dump.
He also warned those who did not have toilets in their homes to build them by September 2011 or risk prosecution.
Artisans who mend lorry tyres and scrap dealers have also turned the areas around the drains into shops and have been dumping damaged tyres and scrap into them.
Mr Vanderpuije ordered those responsible to go into the drain immediately and remove all the waste they had dumped there.
He gave the Health Inspectorate of AMA one week to ensure that those responsible were evicted from those areas and demolish every illegal structure along the drains.
“What is wrong with us Ghanaians? No individual interest above national interest.” he stated.
According to him, every house or shop owner should be responsible for the cleaning of drains/gutters in front of their houses or shops, as stated in the Assembly’s by-laws and that anyone who refused to do so would be prosecuted.
When asked why the drains had not been covered, Mr Vanderpuije stated that the Assembly did not have the needed funds to cover all the drains and that those that would pose a threat to residents had been covered while the rest would be covered when funds were available.
“In the meantime the individual should be responsible and not dump refuse into the drains. The AMA would continue to put pressure on society to do the right thing. Protection of life and property is our utmost concern.
We are very serious.”
He also pledged that the AMA would do periodic inspection to ensure that the drains were de-silted to avoid floods during the raining season.