General News of Thu, 25 Oct 20185
Assembly to demolish structures along Weija Dam banks
Buildings at Tetegu, Oblogo, Away and other communities close to the Weija Dam site are to be demolished to ward off people from encroaching on the site.
The exercise will also affect structures constructed on access roads, illegal routes and public lands which pose danger to lives and properties.
The Weija/Gbawe Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Patrick Kwesi Brako, told the Daily Graphic that the exercise was also to protect lives after the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) began spilling excess water from the dam.
The GWCL, as part of ensuring the safety of Accra’s only treatment plant, began spilling excess water from the dam on October 8, 2018.
The dam, currently at a maximum level of 47 feet, up from its safe operational level of 45 feet, has so far opened four spillways at 12 inches, a situation Mr Brako described “as disastrous to structures along the banks of the dam.”
He said the assembly had mapped out strategies to get rid of all unauthorised structures that posed danger and served as a threat to the
security of residents in the downstream areas.
According to him, emerging slums and other areas where buildings on waterways had made the area prone to flooding that had resulted in the loss of lives and property, were some of the areas the exercise would be intensified.
The Daily Graphic visited some of the flood-prone areas in the community and observed that scores of new structures were springing up along the banks of the dam.
In communities such as Oblogo, Adakope, Away and Tetegu, there were new construction works, with other residents reinforcing the foundations of their buildings.
While admitting that officials of the GWCL had informed them of the danger ahead and urged them to vacate to safer areas, they seemed unwilling to heed the directive.
The Daily Graphic, however, observed that some structures that had been inundated by spilled water from the dam had been abandoned by their owners.
The team also saw that residents who had their homes flooded, continued to sell and engage in their daily businesses such as sewing, carpentry and auto mechanic work.
Meanwhile, the Station Manager of the Weija Dam, Mr Augustine Atigbire, explained that developers were not allowed to build along the waterways, adding that, “the dam sites are dangerous for people to dwell.”
He said the GWCL had engaged stakeholders on several occasions on the threat to the dam due to the springing up of new buildings and other indiscriminate human activities.
“The GWCL has engaged the residents on countless occasions to vacate to a safer place but these have proven futile. But since we have opened all the four gates at 12 inches, we will have no option than to spill more should the water level increase to 48 feet which is a dangerous point,” he said.
An official at the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) at the Weija Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Mr Attimah Costhim, indicated that in spite of the continuous warning to developers to desist from building around the catchment area of the dam, they had been adamant and continued to work on new constructions daily.