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.