The World Bank has approved $200 million dollars to fund the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, which would benefit more than 2.5 million people in the Odaw River Basin in the Region.
The Project seeks to provide improved flood risk management, solid waste management and improved access to basic infrastructure and services in targeted communities.
A statement issued to the media by the Bank on Thursday, said its Board of Executives Directors approved the fund on Wednesday, May 29.
The GARID project is expected to bring transformative changes in the GAR, focusing on the Odaw River basin in the first phase and to be expanded to other priority basins within the Region in subsequent phases, supporting a gradual improvement of integrated flood risk management.
The Odaw River Basin is identified as the entry point of the intervention for the first phase given its high flood risk, population, and business density.
It would indirectly benefit the entire 4.6 million population of the GAR through improvements in flood warning and response system, and solid waste management capacity improvements.
'“Enhancing infrastructure investment is critical to achieving the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, as well as increasing the resilience of African cities,"' the statement quoted Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
'"It will also help address climate vulnerability and inequality by focusing investments on poor neighborhoods in targeted informal settlements, which are at a higher risk of flooding'”.
The GARID project would directly benefit dense urban settlements and substantial economic activities located downstream of the confluence between the Odaw and the Onyasia streams through the development of upstream flood retention ponds, performance-based dredging in the Odaw river’s main channel and tributaries, and rehabilitation of selected drainage channels and bridges.
The residents of Accra, especially flood prone low-income communities, will greatly benefit from comprehensive infrastructure and services improvements.
'“About $3.2 billion worth of economic assets are currently at risk of flooding in the Greater Accra Region. The GARID project brings an integrated, multi-sectoral, and long-term approach to mitigate perennial flooding impacts in the region, and will, thus, enable higher economic growth, social inclusion, disaster and climate change preparedness, resilient settlements, and environmental sustainability,”' said Asmita Tiwari, Senior Urban and Disaster Risk Management Specialist and Task Team Leader for GARID Project, according to the statement.
'“It will, thus, contribute directly to Ghana’s vision of an industrialized high-income country and it’s Medium-Term National Development Framework.”'
The interventions under the Project, the statement said, were complementary to and integrated with the existing Government, World Bank, and development partners’ operations and technical assistance in the GAR.
This include the World Bank funded GAMA Sanitation and Water Project and the Land Administration Project Two.
The Project preparation was supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
"In addition, the Netherlands Government is providing technical assistance on state of the art, performance-based dredging in the Odaw River Basin. Collective efforts in the GAR are expected to lead to transformative changes on the ground," the statement said.
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries.