NewsWest AfricaGhana capital's flood prevention drainage project hangs in the balance


Posted on Monday, 15 June 2015 10:21

Ghana capital's flood prevention drainage project hangs in the balance

By Billie Adwoa McTernan

John Mahama, Ghana's president. Photo©ReutersGhanaian President John Dramani Mahama says that the contentious $600 million Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Drainage Alleviation is unlikely to go ahead as the country has recently began an International Monetary Fund support programme.

"The problem is with the current tightening we have, is, it is impossible with the new debt management strategy we have, to put 600 and something million on our public debt," Mahama told journalists. "I would say not."

it is impossible with the new debt management strategy we have

His comments come after Accra was hit with severe flooding and a flood-related fire early this month that left more than 150 people dead and around 36,000 people – according to the president – affected.

The drainage project first came to the table in 2013, but two years later, in the face of a devastating disaster, there was some confusion on how far the plans had gone.

The mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, said that funds for the project were yet to be signed off by the ministry of finance, while the ministry of finance said there was no money.

The US Exim Bank was supposed to finance the project that was to be constructed by Conti, but it said plans for loan were never finalised.

After a combination three consecutive days of flooding, rubbish-filled gutters and an absence of a properly functioning drainage system, parts of the capital flooded – leaving many – in mostly underprivileged areas, displaced.

In response to the disaster Dramani said the immediate plan was to dredge the neglected Korle Lagoon and Odaw River that have accumulated much waste over the years – including plastics, scrap
metals, fridges, mattresses – and received little attention from government.

Large scale infrastructure needs are unlikely to be met immediately, however.

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