– Works and Housing Minister Assures As He Tours Dredging Sites In Accra

Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso Boakye has disclosed that, government’s commitment to ending the perennial flooding in the capital city, was evident in the regular dredging of drains to allow free flow of water in the sea.

He said this when he toured some major drains and dredging sites in Accra.

According to him, his tour to the Korle and Odaw Lagoons at this peculiar time of inching to the rainy season is critical since it affords him the opportunity to get at first hand preparations ahead of the season.

According to him, since the June 3, 2015 Circle disaster, government has been engaging in frequent dredging and desilting of drains at flood prone areas to ensure safety of lives and properties.

Asenso Boakye gave the assurance that government will do all it can to ensure that flood disasters are prevented.

Speaking to the media during the inspection of dredging activities of the Korle and Odaw lagoons, Managing Director (MD) of Dredge Masters Limited (DML), a subsidiary of Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZGL), Captain Ansar Ahmed Khan said a lot has been done during this third phase of the project and averred that in the next 45 days, the Lagoon will be disilted.

He however noted that structures closed to the banks of the Lagoon are posing threat to the smooth operations and hence appealed to people squatting along the Lagoon to make way for work to continue.

“From time to time, we have to keep doing it to keep the depth of the Lagoon. This way we will ensure that disasters from the rains are prevented,” he said.

He also noted that Dredge Masters has enough capacity to handle the dredging process during the raining season.

Also, Operations Manager of Dredge Masters Limited, Mr Sena Kofi Adiepena, has given a firm assurance that his outfit was working assiduously to prevent floods this year during the rainy season.

He said, this explains why the company was undertaking the third phase of dredging of the Odaw Lagoon.

In an interaction with journalists at the dredging site near the Korle Lagoon, the DML operations manager indicated that with the extent of dredging works done on the lagoon, it was unlikely the Odaw will get flooded this year; expressing satisfaction with the progress of the ongoing works.

He however bemoaned the continuous stay of squatters around the banks of the lagoon, saying that the situation posed serious challenges to the dredging works of DML.

“While we are working on the lagoon… by the time we return to the site, squatters had dumped refuse into the lagoon again. This is having a serious negative impact on our work. This is why we are appealing to Housing Ministry to relocate the squatters when the need arises,” he appealed.

According to him, the ongoing works was at 60% and therefore, expected to be completed within 45 days.

He said: “This third phase is to ensure that all deposits from the activities of squatters are removed to ensure the proper management of the lagoon, and also to facilitate that water flows through the lagoon into the sea without sediments from refuse being dumped into the lagoon by squatters.”

Dredging of the Odaw Channel and Korle Lagoon

In 2019, the consortium of IMDC, the Dutch companies CDR International and Rebel Group and the Ghanaian company ADK was awarded the Feasibility Study for Deferred and Performance Based Maintenance Dredging of the Odaw Channel and Korle Lagoon in Ghana.

The client is the Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) and the Ghanian Ministry of Works and Housing.

The overall objective was to contribute to achieving 1 in 10 years flood protection in the primary Odaw channel system, by preparing a ready-to-tender Performance Based Contracting (PBC) investment.

The project is part of the broader World Bank GARID programme.

The assignment consists of a feasibility study and preparations for a PBC tender, which will be a first of its kind in Ghana with specific objectives of assessing the feasibility of deferred and routine maintenance dredging options from a technical, economic, financial, environmental and social perspective of the main Odaw River channel and the main tributaries (South Kaneshie and Agbogbloshie drains, and possibly Nima, Mataheko drain, Cemetery drain, and the Odawnaa Garages Area drain), the finalisation of the selection of the tributaries to be included in the scope of work is part of the assignment and optimizing and developing conceptual designs of investment options, including identification of opportunities for beneficial use of dredged material among others.

As work progresses, in 2019 over one million cubic meters of waste materials have been desilted from the Odaw River and Korle Lagoon to pave the way for water flow since Dredge Masters Limited moved to site February same year.

By Prosper Agbenyega

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