The Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Martin Kwaku Adjei-Mensah Korsah, has directed Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies in Accra to strictly enforce sanitation regulations and building codes to help curb the incidences of flooding in the capital city.
He made the call during an inspection tour of ongoing desilting works being carried out by the seventeen (17) Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) under the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project.
Mr. Korsah expressed deep concern over the blatant disregard for building and sanitation bye-laws as manifested in indiscriminate disposal of solid waste and uncontrolled developments, particularly, building on watercourses. These adverse behaviour, he indicated, contribute to the perennial flooding in Accra. The Minister tasked the MMAs to enforce the bye-laws to make it painful for people to indulge in such bad behaviour. “I urge the various Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies in Accra to intensify their enforcement activities by strictly applying the sanitation and the building regulations in sanctioning violators without fear or favour. For the flood mitigation to succeed, Assemblies must work,” Mr. Korsah directed.
The Deputy Minister thanked the GARID Project for providing the grant the Municipal Assemblies are using for desilting and drainage improvement works. He expressed satisfaction about the progress of work and urged the Assemblies to ensure that all priority secondary and tertiary drains are regular maintained to curb incidences of flooding in the city.
The GARID Project Coordinator, Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, reaffirmed the Project’s commitment to working with the Municipal Assemblies in finding a lasting solution to solid waste management and flooding challenges in Accra.
Dr. Sarfoh said besides the annual Operation and Maintenance Grant the Project provides to its beneficiary MMAs, the Project is also supporting the Assemblies to carry out clean-up exercises and behavior change campaigns in flood prone communities along the Odaw River channel. He appealed to the MMDAs to enforce the sanitation bye-laws to ensure that the gains being made by the Project is not undermined by adverse beaviour of few individuals in the society. “The state cannot be spending so much on flood control measures, only to be undermined by bad behavior. The Assembly must enforce building and sanitation bye laws and make them bite to serve as deterrent to others,” said Dr. Sarfoh.
The Dean of the Greater Accra Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Mr. George Cyril Bray, expressed gratitude to the GARID Project for its continuous support for Assemblies within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area. Mr. Bray assured the Minister of the MMAs commitment to supporting Government flood mitigation measures, including the enforcement of sanitation and building regulations.
The GARID Project aims at improving drainage, solid waste management, and provision of infrastructure in priority flood-prone informal settlements within the Odaw River basin. The Operation and Maintenance Grant Scheme is part of the interventions the Project is implementing to help improve the discharge capacity of priority secondary and tertiary drains in communities along the Odaw River channel.