Donor partners are seeking to raise US$650,000 to embark on an emergency desilting exercise of five major drainage basins in Accra to avert the re-occurrence of the disaster that struck some parts of the national capital following the October 26, 2011 torrential rains.

The UN system in Ghana is spearheading the mobilisation campaign to raise the money from the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other donor agencies for the exercise, which is expected to commence as soon as the money is raised.

This decision was reached at a donor conference in Accra between the management of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and some donor agencies to explore the possible means of supporting the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in its quest to improve Accra’s national drainage system, as well as other areas that have been identified as contributing to the perennial flooding of the capital.

The basins to be desilted include the Lafa Basin, the Chemu West Basin, the Odaw Basin and the lower basin of the Densu River.

The UN Resident Co-ordinator in Ghana, Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, told the Daily Graphic shortly after the meeting that the UN system and for that matter the development partners shared with Ghana the pain of the destruction of lives and property resulting from last Wednesday’s rainfall.

While expressing optimism that the drainage exercise was a major step forward to nipping in the bud the havoc that often accompanied such torrential rainfalls in the national capital, she called on other organisations to support the campaign for the mobilisation of funds to execute the project.

She also called for a community mobilisation action plan to educate the people on the need to observe good environmental practices, noting that environmental waste management was critical to maintaining proper hygienic practices.

Earlier at the meeting, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Alfred Vanderpuije, said the AMA was currently constructing storm drains in some flood-prone areas in the Accra Metropolis as one of the measures to address the problem and added that the immediate challenge facing the assembly was environmental sanitation which had been worsened as a result of the floods.

The AMA boss noted with concern some nine lives that had been claimed following a cholera outbreak in some parts of the city that were hard hit by the floods and underscored the AMA’s resolve to improve the sanitation situation.

For his part, the National Co-ordinator of NADMO, Mr Kofi Portuphy, said his outfit had done an impact assessment of the floods and that the disruption of electricity and water supply to areas that were most affected were being restored.

NADMO, he intimated, had sufficiently provided relief items to flood victims, especially women and children followed by the distribution of food items.

“Twelve multi-sectoral rapid assessment teams comprising 10 staff from the NADMO head office including others from its regional offices and representatives from collaborating agencies were dispatched to the affected areas to conduct a rapid assessment and distribute relief items accordingly,” he said.

Source: Daily Graphic