Ghana government to demolish buildings in waterways

The Ministry of Works and Housing with its associated agencies will take steps to ensure the demolition of buildings in waterways, which is a major cause of flooding in Accra and the country as a whole, Mr Solomon A. Asoalla, the Chief Director of the Ministry has said.

He expressed worry over the increasing rate of flooding and disasters that were caused by human activities.

The Chief Director said this in Accra at a leadership forum on Flood Management in Ghana on the theme: “Sustainable dredging as a tool for effective city planning and flood prevention”.

The forum was organised by Acreaty Ghana Limited, a human capital firm in partnership with Dredge Masters Ghana Limited and Netherlands.

It brought together experts in engineering sector to dialogue on how to explore new ideas and approach that can be incorporated to existing structures to manage flood related problems in the country.

He sounded a warning to all other developers who do not have permits and build on waterways that they were the next target for demolition.

Mr Assoalla stressed that the Ministry would enforce the law to serve as deterrent to others to the do the right thing.

He said it behooved on all to be concerned about the effects of flood, claiming lives and property and as well human capital for national development.

Mr Asoalla said the menace of flood led to environmental challenges, leading to health related diseases like cholera and others.

Mrs Elsie Appau-Klu,the Managing Partner for Acreaty Ghana Limited noted that the dialogue would provide a great platform for both Ghana and Netherlands to share knowledge and information on workable practices aimed at managing the flood issues.

She expressed worry about the rising phenomenon of flooding problems associated with its annual disasters in Ghana, Accra adding that within the past decades, flooding had become a global pandemic that hampered economic and social development.

She said on June 3, 2015, Accra experienced an unprecedented flash flood event, coupled with an explosion at a Ghana Oil Company Limited filling station that resulted in a death of over 152 lives of persons.

She asserted that “every year our major cities have to struggle in dealing with the menace and blamed the situation on human errors that needed holistic approach to tackle the situation”.

Mrs Appau-Klu stated that the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT): the 2015 flood in Accra resulted in economical loss to the tune of US 108, 200.000.

Mr Wise Ametefe, the Registrar of Engineering Council of Ghana, indicated that the council would continue to support the government to intensify public education on the effects of flooding.

Mr Ametefe expressed disappointment in the Assemblies for being reluctant in performing their mandatory duties to demolish unauthorised building structures including; churches on water ways in the country.

According to the Council, the Assemblies should be blamed for the loss of lives and property in flood related disasters because they were mandated to remove all the building structures on the water ways.

Present at the forum were representatives from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana Institute of Engineering, Ghana Irrigation Authority, Ministry of Works and Housing, Jospong Group of Companies among others.

Source: GNA

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