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Minister urges road funds for flood mitigation through drain construction

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Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister of Works and Housing, has advocated the allocation of a portion of the Roads Funds for the construction of storm drains; as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of perennial floods across major cities in the country. 

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Mr Asenso-Boakye urged the House to consider committing a proportion of the Road Fund, given the impact of drains on the lifespan of roads; the Sanitation Levy, in view of the effect of the solid waste on drainage capacity; and the Common Fund, recognizing the need for a holistic and efficient drainage system.

“By doing so, we will clearly showcase our nation’s unwavering dedication to addressing this age-long challenge in a comprehensive manner.” The Minister stated when he took his turn to appraise the House on measures being taken by the Ministry to address flooding in parts of Accra.

Mr Asenso-Boakye said the scale of the flooding challenge the nation faced was enormous and with the effect of climate change, it would only get worse.

“In the light of that, I wish to take this opportunity to emphasize the need for a dedicated source of funding towards tackling flooding in the country.” He said.

He said the Ghana Hydrological Authority Act, 2022 (Act 1085), which was passed with support from both sides of the House makes provision for the establishment of a Hydrological Fund for that purpose.

The Minister commended the Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu for raising the issue of perennial flooding on the floor of Parliament on 23 June 2023, and his commitment towards building a robust environment for the nation’s socio-economic development.

Mr Asenso-Boakye, who doubles as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, expressed the Government’s and his commiserations to the bereaved families for the loss of  loved ones during the heavy downpour from Wednesday 21st to Friday 23rd June, 2023, in some parts of Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region, including his beloved Bantama Constituency where five lives, two of whom were siblings were unfortunately lost.

He noted that here in Accra, some lost their livelihoods while several others suffered damage to their properties and other valuables.

“My sympathies are with these families during this challenging period. Our follow-ups, however, indicate that the rainfall experienced in Accra on Thursday, 22nd June did not, fortunately, result in any loss of life.” Mr Asenso-Boakye stated.

He reiterated that the Ministry of Works and Housing was conscious of the increasing risk of flooding across the country, largely due to inadequate drainage infrastructure, improper solid waste disposal, disregard for planning rules and regulation, and rapid urbanization.

He said the adverse effect of climate change had compounded the factors; adding that “consequently, we have in recent times, seen flooding in other urban centres, such as, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, Koforidua and Tamale that did not use to experience much flooding”.

He said globally, the dire effects of climate change had left unforgettable footprints in many countries, such as, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and that Ghana was no exception.

He said for this reason, the Ministry had over the years initiated and implemented major drainage projects across the country to mitigate flooding.

Mr Asenso-Boakye said as a demonstration of their commitment to tackling Ghana’s perennial flooding challenge, the Government had been implementing a comprehensive flood control and management programme with components such as the construction of drainage channels and desilting under the National Flood Control Programme.

He implored all Ghanaians to unite and rally behind their collective efforts in tackling the devastating issue of floods. “Let us join hands, combining our efforts to bring an end to the destructive consequences caused by flooding.” Mr Asenso-Boakye said.

“Together, we have the power to effect substantial change and establish a safer and more resilient environment for all.”

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, said building in water ways and dumping of solid wastes into drains were contributory factors to the perennial floodings in the nation’s cities.

Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip, appealed to Ghanaians to obey building regulations and to avoid putting up illegal structures in water ways.

Dr Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings, NDC MP for Korle Klottey, in her contribution, urged the Government to ensure constant desilting of the Odaw drains as part of efforts to mitigate flooding in Accra.

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