President inspects work on Odaw drains

  • 1m m3 ofwaste materials collected from Odaw and Korle Lagoon
  • Plastic waste, major cause for Odaw overflow

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday inspected work on dredging of the Odaw storm drain being executed by an indigenous company, Dredge Masters Ltd.

The project is meant for the free flow of water during the raining season, in an area that is prone to flooding due its low-lying nature.

Some residents and vendors in the area commended the initiative of dredging testifying that it has reduced flooding in the area.

Nana Addo was happy when the Managing Director of the company, Captain Khan, took him through pictorial designs by Dredge Masters to overhaul the Odaw River and Korle Lagoon into modern, beautiful assets which will attract tourists and business activities in the city of Accra.

Operations Manager of Dredge Masters, Engineer Sena Adiepena, said work under the initial contract was completed in March 2017, as designs on civil works are still ongoing.

Mr. Adiepena revealed that so far, more than one million cubic metres of dredged materials have been removed from the Odaw drain since the company was awarded the contract in 2016 to dredge the drain and lagoon, and also reconstruct an interceptor to treat polluted water.

He noted that the scope of work starts from the Odaw Onyasia confluence at Caprice in Accra, through the Avenor, Kwame Nkrumah interchange, Agbogbloshie, South Kaneshie drain and the Korle Lagoon.

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He said: “We have communicated and advised government that these drains need to be dredged regularly with monitoring and several inspections. When we monitor and realise that it is exceeding the capacity of the drain, we need to go in and quickly maintain it by dredging to avoid it overflowing its banks when there’s rainfall. From 2016, 2017 and 2018, due to the work and effort to ensure the dredging, there was no flooding situation”.

The Operations Manager added that government must put in place waste management programmes and policies, and good implementation practice so that waste is controlled.

He added that there are a lot of settlements in the city, which has pushed some citizens to put up structures in waterways. He therefore advised that Ghana needs to have a planting culture whereby grass is planted instead of pavement blocks, so that the rainwater can be absorbed into the soil.

Mr. Adiepena, stated that poor disposal of plastic waste by citizens is the major cause of the Odaw River overflowing at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.

According to him, it is a natural occurrence for the Odaw River to get full from time to time due to silt; however, the indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste and building structures in water ways has led to this menace

“There is no permanent solution. Silt deposit is a natural occurrence which cannot be stopped. When water is flowing down the channel, it moves with silt. However, the nuisance of the plastic waste is what we need to look at, because that aggravates the situation. The silt is the main cause, but the floating plastic and foreign materials block certain passages – which results in a backflow and builds up, resulting in overflow of the banks,” said Mr. Adiepena.

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Adiepena said Dredge Masters Limited is working around the clock, i.e. day and night, to restore the drainage efficiency and holding capacity of the channel and lagoon to avert any flooding in this year’s rainy season.

Dredge Masters is a leading provider of modern technological dredging services, and was awarded a two-year contract in June 2016 to desilt and dredge the Odaw drain and restore the Korle Lagoon to avert the perennial flooding in Accra under the Accra Sanitary Sewer Storm Drainage Alleviation Project.

The initial agreement was extended in February 2019 for maintenance in dredging the Odaw drain and the Korle Lagoon under the same scope. The 80-metre deep storm drain had been heavily choked by sand, debris and largely plastic waste – blocking the flow of rainwater, which causes floods in Accra.

The channel under the scope starts from the Odaw-Onyasia confluence at Carprice in Accra, through Avenor, Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Agbogbloshie, South Kaneshie drain and the Upper and Lower Lagoon.

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