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Local Government Minister calls for collaboration among Assemblies to manage flood risk in Accra

The Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr. Daniel Botwe, has made a fervent call for collaboration among Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) along the Odaw River channel to effectively manage flood risk in Accra.

Mr. Botwe made the plea during an inspection tour of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project beneficiary MMAs where he observed that the flood control efforts of Municipal Assemblies downstream the Odaw River are being undermined by the inactions of the Assemblies upstream. 

The Minister emphasized the need for a coordinated approach to mitigate flood risk and protect the well-being of the communities along the Odaw River. "Flooding is a pressing national issue that requires a collective action. I call on all MMAs along the Odaw River to collaborate closely to plan and implement effective flood control measures that will protect lives and properties of citizens," the Minister stated.

Mr. Botwe announced that Government through the GARID Project will soon establish an Inter-Jurisdictional Coordination Management Committee (ICMC) for the Odaw Drainage basin. The Committee, which will comprise the Project beneficiary Assemblies and other relevant state agencies, will be responsible for joint planning, implementation, management, and financing of flood control interventions along the Odaw River Basin. He said the process has already commenced and call on key stakeholders to collaborate with the Consultant and the Project staff to ensure successful completion of the task.

The Coordinator for the GARID Project, Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, said the implementation of successful flood mitigation interventions requires a unified front. He underscores the benefits MMAs stand to derive from collaborating in their fight against flooding in the city. "Collaboration among the Metropolitan Assemblies will allow for a coordinated planning, and implementation of flood mitigation measures. It will also create the platform for sharing of resources, expertise, and best practice in the collective interest of the Assemblies.," the Project Coordinator explained.

The Dean of the Greater Accra Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Mr. George Cyril Bray, on behalf of the MMAs, expressed support for the call for a joint effort in addressing flood risk in the national capital. "We the Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies under the GARID Project will join forces and pool our resources and knowledge to develop sustainable flood control measures that protect our communities," the Dean indicated.

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 Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development is implementing the metropolitan governance, operation and maintenance improvement sub-component of the Project. This sub-component, among others, focuses on the establishment and institutionalization of inter-jurisdictional coordination; development of a joint Odaw River Basin management plan; development of operation and maintenance system for drainage infrastructure at local level; and establishment of a local capacity support grant to finance the technical needs of local governments.

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Local Government Minister inspects ongoing desilting works on local drains in Accra

The Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLDGRD), Mr Dan Botwe, has paid a working visit to the beneficiary Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project to assess the progress of the ongoing desilting works on local drains in the Assemblies.

During the tour, Mr. Botwe reiterated the importance of maintaining and improving drainage infrastructure to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents within the Municipalities, noting that "Regular maintenance of drains are of utmost importance to mitigate the risks of flooding and safeguard our communities. The grant provided by the GARID Project has been instrumental in supporting the Metropolitan Assemblies' efforts to carry out these essential works. I am pleased with the progress made so far and commend the dedication of the Assemblies in executing this crucial task".

The GARID Project Coordinator, Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, expressed satisfaction about how the MMAs are applying the grant to improve flood resilience of the city. He said, " The desilting and dredging of secondary and tertiary drains in beneficiary communities enables the achievement of quick-wins in our quest to enhance the resilience of the city. By improving the drainage system, we are reducing the vulnerability of our communities to flooding and building a more resilient city. This will go a long way to help achieve the Project goal”

The Grant Scheme is part of the interventions being implemented by the Project to help improve the operations and maintenance of priority secondary and tertiary drains in communities along the Odaw River channel. Part of the previous grant disbursed to the MMAs have been used for the preparation of Operations and Maintenance plans, development of comprehensive drainage network digital maps and asset registers, procurement of equipment such as hand-held GPS devices, Schmidt hammers, and laptop computers.

The Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executives expressed their gratitude for the support received from the GARID Project. The Dean of the Greater Accra Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Mr. George Cyril Bray, said, "The grant from the GARID Project is an important contribution to our ongoing actions to mitigate floods in the respective jurisdictions where the project activities are being undertaken. This initiative is essential to maintain the functionality of our drainage systems and mitigate the risks posed by flooding. We appreciate the partnership with the GARID Project and remain committed to further enhancing the resilience of Accra."

Ahead of the tour, the Minister had elicited from the participating MMDAs and the LUSPA office, the flood hotspots in need of such mitigation measures. During the inspection tour, the Honourable Local Government Minister, along with the GARID Project Coordinator and the Metropolitan Chief Executives, visited some of these flood hotspots to verify the extent to which the desilting and dredging was resolving the challenges. The Minister interacted with the workers on the ground, commending them for their diligent efforts in executing the project.

At the end of the tour, Mr. Dan Botwe reassured the public of the government's commitment to addressing flooding challenges in Accra. “We have so far disbursed over One Million, Three Hundred Thousand Dollars (1,300,000.00) to the seventeen (17) GARID Project beneficiary MMAs to use to improve the operation and maintenance of secondary and tertiary drains in the Odaw River catchment. This excludes the other important interventions by the other Ministries involved in the GARID project, the Ministry of Works and Housing addressing the main Odaw channel as well as the principal Nima and Kaneshie tributaries. The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources also supported these same MMDAs with solid waste collection equipment, and has been facilitating regular clean-up exercises in the communities, particularly those along the Odaw River channel. We will continue to support the MMDAs every year to ensure that incidence and impacts of flooding are reduced to the barest minimum in localities of the city where the Odaw River traverses,” The Minister indicated.


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 Project is being implemented by the Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, and Ministry Sanitation and Water Resources. 

Ghana’s Delegation Participates in the UN-Habitat Assembly to promote urbanisation and SDGs in Nairobi, Kenya

Ghana’s delegation led by Hon. Francis Asenso Boakye (MP), Minister for Works and Housing participated in the Second Session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat Assembly) which began on 5th June and ended 9th June, 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. The UNHA was held at the only UN Headquarters in Africa under the theme, “A sustainable urban future through inclusive and effective multilateralism: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in times of global crises”.


Delivering Ghana’s Statement, Mr. Francis Asenso Boakye (MP), Minister for Works and Housing reiterated Ghana’s commitment to implementing and delivering on the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “especially, SDG 11, which seeks to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”, under H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He highlighted the progress Ghana has made in the housing sector; “it is important to highlight that although there have been some advancements in the housing sector, such as a decrease in the estimated housing deficit from approximately 2 million units to 1.8 million units, there remains a substantial disparity in addressing the housing requirements of the low-to-middle income demographic”.


Mr. Francis Asenso Boakye (MP) indicated the between urbanisation and economic development to the UN Member States, and particularly called on the African Group of Countries, to commit to regional economic integration. “Ghana, as the host country of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), is committed to its principles and recognises that sustainable urban development is strongly linked to regional economic integration”, he said.


UN-Habitat Assembly successfully approved several resolutions to advance sustainable development through territorial planning, urbanisation and climate action, effective monitoring and establishment of an equity fund to support Member States in the delivery of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the SDGs. The term of Office of Members of the Governing Structure of the UN-Habitat Assembly, that is, the Executive Board and the Bureau to the UN-Habitat Assembly were unanimously extended until 2025. This means Ghana as Vice President on the Bureau to the UN-Habitat Assembly, and represented by Hon. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah (MP), Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) will continue hold the position until elections are held in 2025.


On the sidelines of the event, Ghana’s delegation held bilateral meetings with the new Deputy Executive Director of the UN-Habitat, Mr. Michal Mylnar. The engagement re-affirmed Ghana’s commitment to the UN-Habitat and its work across the globe and in Ghana in the areas of capacity building, support for policy formulation in the urban sector and in slum upgrading and prevention. The parties proposed to consider the organization of African Urban Forum in Ghana and commitment made to advance the implementation of the Ghana Smart SDG Cities Initiative in ten (10) Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to fast-track the implementation of the SDGs through a certification process and investment opportunities.


Ghana’s delegation comprised Hon. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah (MP), Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development; H.E. Damptey Bediako Asare, Ghana’s High Commissioner and Permanent Representative to the UN-Habitat and UNEP; Mr. William Anani-Abotsi, Deputy Head of Mission in Kenya; Hon. Akosua Asabea Annoh, Municipal Chief Executive of Abuakwa South Municipal Assembly; Pln. Sylvanus Adzornu, Director for Rural Housing at the MWH; Pln. Samuel Seth Passah, Director for Local Governance and Decentralisation at the MLGDRD; Arc. Chris Pobee, Principal Architect (MWH); Mr. Collins Kabuga, Head of the UN-Desk at the Ministry of Finance (MoF). Other members of the delegation were, Pln. Eli Yao Kuadey, Principal Development Planning Officer at MLGDRD; Mr. George Ofori-Atta, Principal Economics Officer at MoF; Ms. Nana Ama Kankam and Mrs. Rena Asare Danso, First Secretaries at the Ghana High Commission in Kenya. [END]

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