The Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr. Daniel Botwe has called on residents of Accra to change their behaviour towards waste disposal and make conscious choices regarding their building sites to help reduce the perennial flooding in the national capital.
Mr. Botwe made the appeal during an inspection tour of the beneficiary Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project to assess the progress of ongoing desilting works and community engagements in the respective Assemblies.
The Minister said his Ministry has so far disbursed One Million Three Hundred Dollars ($1, 300,000) out of the over Three Million Dollars ($3,250,000) earmarked for disbursement to the Seventeen (17) GARID project beneficiary Assemblies to use for desilting of local drains and other drainage improvement works. He, however, observed that the huge investments of Government in flood control programmes are being undermined by inappropriate behaviour of some residents of Accra who engage in constructing buildings in waterways, and indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes which find their ways into drains in the city.
Mr. Botwe said the implementation of the GARID Project’s interventions, and all other Government’s flood mitigation measures will not succeed if such inappropriate behaviour and underlying attitudes do not change, noting that “For flood mitigation to succeed, citizens must change their behaviour. Our prospects as a city are grim if people do not change their attitudes towards solid waste management and their choices of building sites.”
The GARID Project Coordinator, Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, called on all stakeholders to support government efforts in finding lasting solutions to flooding and solid waste management challenges in Accra. He said Government alone cannot solve the sanitation and flooding problems in the country; it must be a shared responsibility. “Our flood control programmes in the city can only yield the desired results, if residents of Accra change their behavior; the Assemblies enforce the sanitation and building regulations; and the media help in sensitizing citizens to adopt the appropriate solid waste management and flood mitigation measures,” Dr. Ohene explained.
The inspection tour took the Minister to major flood hotspots in the 17 beneficiary GARID Project Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies where desilting works were being carried out. He expressed satisfaction about progress of work and commended the Assemblies for their dedication in executing the task.
The GARID Project is Government of Ghana Project being implemented with credit facility from the World Bank. The Project aims at addressing flooding in Odaw Basin of Greater Accra Region and focuses on improving drainage, solid waste management and provision of services and infrastructure in priority flood prone informal settlements within the basin.