- …as minister pays working visit
The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso Boakye, has undertaken an inspection tour of ongoing dredging works in the Korle Lagoon at Accra.
For the past few years Dredge Masters Limited (DML), a Ghanaian-owned leading provider of dredging services, has been carrying out dredging works at the lagoon in an effort to prevent flooding in Accra.
The tour, which came off yesterday March 17, 2022, enabled the minister to assess progress of work on dredging the lagoon.
Speaking to journalists, Mr. Asenso Boakye bemoaned the habitual dumping of refuse into drains, especially by squatters – describing their attitudes as “inimical to nation building”. He said government has invested so much into the construction of Integrated Recycling and Compost Plants (IRECOPs) across the country.
He said these state-of-the-art waste management facilities were being constructed to help in the proper management of waste, and also to safeguard lives and properties. However, he complained about the citizens’ laxity in supporting government’s efforts, adding: “It’s as if we are moving in cycles, with the gains always being eroded”.
According to Mr. Asenso Boakye, the tour was necessary as it formed part of his ministry’s measures to prevent flooding and its attendant effects this year.
He lashed out at the abject disregard for a change of attitude to correct the age-long anomaly of indiscriminately dumping refuse in the country. “I am urging Ghanaians to be responsible, and in no circumstance should anybody dump refuse into the drains. That attitude has a devastating effect on the Ghanaian economy,” the minister warned.
He reiterated his ministry’s resolve to liaise with the assemblies to arrest and prosecute any offender.
The Operations Manager of Dredge Masters Limited, Sena Kofi Adeipena, gave a firm assurance that his company is working very hard to prevent a repeat of the June 3rd disaster. “We are positioning ourselves to prevent a repeat of the June 3rd disaster by dredging drains within the central business district (CBD) of Accra,” he assured.
He admitted that dredging work within the district are quite difficult, considering attitudinal challenges amid migration – hence the excessive squatting along the drains.
One such challenge, he said, is the lack of space for DML to park its dredging machines. “All available spaces to enable us park our machines have been occupied by squatters, and this is making our operations very difficult,” he said.
He went on to add that the jostling for space by squatters around the lagoon also poses serious health risks. Mr. Adiepena said the activities of squatters contribute to choking the drains. “Naturally, sediments occur in rivers; but human activities such as squatters along the drains also cause serious problems for the drains. This is because they are not bothered about dumping refuse into the drains,” he noted.
He, therefore, asked that the squatters be moved and a “central monitoring system” put in place, with officials positioned for routine checks. He also called for the creation of a buffer-zone along the drains to protect them from negative human activities.