President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra Region to demolish all structures that cause flooding in the city with immediate effect. Additionally, the President has instructed Metropolitan, Municipal, District Assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure the strict adherence of developers to the planning laws of the nation and to sanction their staff who issue permits to developers who build structures in unauthorized locations. President Akufo-Addo announced these new measures at the commissioning ceremony of Dredge Masters IHC Beaver 50 Dredger and Marine Equipment meant for maintaining rivers, cannels and other inland waterways, at Adjei Kojo at Ashaiman in Accra on Wednesday 25 May 2022. To ensure these directives are strictly complied with, the President said, he has establish a monitoring unit at Jubilee House that will be reporting directly to him on the progress on the implementation of these measures. “We will ensure that these directives are complied with. I have established a monitoring unit, and they will be reporting directly to me on the progress of the implementation of these measures. I am putting all MMDCEs on notice and will be held responsible for any breaches that result in damage as a result of flooding.” Heavy rains, which started late Monday evening through Tuesday morning, submerged parts of the capital city. President Akufo-Addo recalled some of the interventions his government has made with regard to the fight against flooding in the Greater Accra Region as he said, since 2017, his government has spent some GHC 450 million on the flood control programme. The President also advised against the disposal of waste in drains, which he says is one of the contributory factors compounding the unfortunate situation. “As President, I will not allow the selfish interest of a few to jeopardize the collective future of the rest of us. While government does its part, we cannot overlook the negative effect of dumping of refuse into open drains by some unpatriotic citizens.” “Regardless of the investment in the construction and reengineering of open drains, the indiscriminate disposal of solid waste into open drains and channels will reduce our capacity to end the perennial flooding. I urge all those who engage in such practice to put an end to it”, Nana Akufo-Addo added. On his part, Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso – Boakye, in his statement noted that, improving the holding capacity of the lagoons and dredging are among the surest ways to minimize the risk of flooding in the country as he emphasized that, his ministry will ensure that the President’s directives are obeyed and implemented to the latter. The Executive chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, the parent company of Dredge Masters Limited, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, said the introduction of the IHC beaver 50 dredger and marine equipment is aimed at bring the dredging capacity of the Dredge Masters to an all new level as he used the opportunity to admonish Ghanaians to desist from throwing waste into water bodies.
NADMO's worry
The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has already admitted, that its inability to demolish illegal structures on waterways is one of the major setbacks to ensuring a more sustainable way of tackling the recurrent flooding situation in the country, especially in the capital, Accra. NADMO is therefore seeking the needed empowerment through legal backing to enable it do so if Ghana is bent on bringing an end to its perennial flooding situation. “Everything boils down to the assemblies. There are a number of illegal structures put up all over, but it is not the mandate of NADMO to demolish them. That is the problem we have,” says Abu Ramadan, NADMO’s Deputy Director-General. He suggested that the time is ripe for NADMO to be given the needed powers to pull down structures obstructing the free flow of water, since local authorities have done too little in that respect. “For us as a coordinating agency, there isn’t so much we can do. We can only advise or proffer solutions and facilitate. If the law has given us power to move an excavator to go and demolish buildings, I believe we would have done that”, he stressed.