Accra, Nov. 4, GNA – Mr Kofi Portuphy, National Co-ordinator, National Disaster Management Organization, on Thursday said an estimated amount of 650,000 dollars is needed to carry out a major demolition exercise of illegal structures on waterways, clean up the Metropolis and prevent perennial flooding.
He said the Ghana office of the United Nations had agreed to release an amount of 100,000 dollars to assist the organization, adding if all this amount expected was released immediately, the exercise would begin.
Mr Portuphy who made this known when the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Interior called on him for a brief assessment of the flood situation and how it could be prevented, said the recent floods which hit the city could be attributed to climate change though many other causes are involved.
The team led by Alhaji Abukari Sumani, Chairman of the committee, was also taken on a tour of the affected parts of Accra, including, Adabraka Sahara and Dome Ayugbe Town.
Mr Portuphy said many people did not listen to weather forecasts and that efforts were being made to educate the public. To this end, 2.5 million dollars had been given to the Ghana Meteorological service to establish a rain guage.
He said poor planning resulting from lack of coordination, illegal structures as well as activities of utility agencies, undersized hydraulic structures, designing problems, rapid changes in land use patterns due to urbanization, development of settlements in water courses and flood plains were some other causes of floods.
Mr Portuphy said the Organization had carried out a study on the flood affected persons and that 43,098 people had been affected.
He said the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies were being relied on to bury those who had died in the floods, and stated that funding to undertake a recovery programme was lacking.
During the tour to the affected areas, NADMO officials were distributing relief items in the form of rice, beans, buckets, plastic containers and soap to registered victims.
He said some of the victims were admitted at the Police and Military hospitals adding, apart from 200 rescue officials from NADMO, the Police, Military, Fire Service, National Ambulance and the National Security were also of tremendous help but that the volume of water flowing rendered the task more difficult.
Alhaji Sumani Abubakari, Chairman of the Committee and Member of Parliament for Tamale North, said the mayor of Accra should not listen to people who may be resisting the demolition exercise and that the Government needed to take serious steps to check the flood disaster in Accra. He urged assemblies to implement serious laws with the involvement of chiefs.
He said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development should assist NADMO in its efforts to desilt the drains and that the designs for the Metropolis should also be modernized.
He called for the fast-tracking of the NADMO bill which is currently with the Attorney Generals Department.
Some of the flood victims expressed their preparedness to relocate if the Government would provide them a better place.