Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide, has hinted the Akufo-Addo led government will be dredging the Odaw River soon to avert flooding in the capital and across the capital.
According to the Minister, dredging of major drains in Accra must become a routine exercise to avert flooding.
But speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on ‘Anopa Nkomo’ on Accra based Kingdom FM 107.7, Pius Hadzide said: “We will make sure that we have an underground sewerage system to address the sewerage situation in Accra,” the Minister assured.”
“The desilting of the drains will start soon; the Cabinet has approved $200 to desilt the drains. In fact, it has started and it will continue so that we can have the free flow of floodwater,” he added.
He said the government is bent to bring an end to the serious sewerage problem in the entire country.
This, he went on to explain, will require that the government want to assess and “solve the situation once and for all.”
He stated that there can be a permanent fix to this drainage problem but that will require re-engineering and design of the Odaw drainage system, noting even after everything is done, “we cannot do away with the maintenance of the drains.
The development is symptomatic of the unsanitary conditions in Accra, which have turned the Odaw into a cesspool that produces nothing but diseases and environmental hazards.
The government spent huge sums of money to dredge the river of silt and clear loads of garbage from it, but residents are back in full force, throwing all manner of waste materials into the river, thus cutting back the progress made in sanitizing the river.
The Odaw River flows from the Abokobi and Adjankote hills through Ashongman, Atomic Energy, West Legon, Achimota, Alajo, Avenor, and Agbogbloshie before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean through the Korle Lagoon.
Dredge Masters, a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies, was awarded the contract to dredge the river in November 2015.
That was after a philanthropic work by Engineers and Planners had resulted in the dredging of parts of the river after the June 3, 2015, Accra floods.
Specific works undertaken by Dredge Masters included de-silting and refuse removal from the river to stop the perennial flooding.
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved $200 million for the Accra Resilient and Integration Redevelopment Project, aimed at addressing flooding in the city.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said this at a media encounter on Wednesday. He also said the government was embarking on the project to avert further loss of lives and properties caused by floods.