Ahead of rainy season: We’ll arrest, prosecute ‘polluters’ of Korle Lagoon …Works Minister warns as he inspects dredging project

The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has cautioned against the dumping of solid waste into the Odaw drain and Korle lagoon, blocking free flow of water.

(inset)Mr Asenso Boakye(secind from right) having a word with squatters along the Korley Lagoon. Photo:Godwin Ofosu-Acheampong

Anyone caught engaged in such a practice, he said, would be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Describing the practice as “irresponsible,” he noted that, the habitual dumping of refuse into drains, especially by squatters, was inimical to nation building.

Mr Boakye was speaking to the media yesterday when he undertook an inspection tour of ongoing dredging works in the Korle Lagoon in Accra.

For the past years, Dredge Masters Limited (DML), a Ghanaian-owned provider of dredging services, has been carrying out dredging works in the lagoon in an effort to prevent flooding in Accra.

The tour was to enable the minister to assess the progress of work of dredging works in the lagoon.

Mr Boakye fumed at the behaviour of some Ghanaians to dispose solid waste into drains and water bodies saying that “I am urging Ghanaians to be responsible and under no circumstances should anybody dump refuse into the drains and other unauthorised places. 

He recalled government’s investments into the construction of Integrated Recycling and Compost Plants (IRECOPs) across the country.

The waste management facilities, he noted, were being constructed to help in the proper management of waste and also safeguard lives and properties.

“The government is investing lots of money into dredging every year. If we put an end to the practice of dumping solid waste in the basin, we save the country lots of money for other developmental projects,” Mr Boakye added.

However, he complained about the lack of support from some Ghanaians for government’s efforts, adding that “It’s as if we are moving in circles with the gains always being eroded.”

He said the practice has a devastating effect on the Ghanaian economy and stated that the Ministry would liaise with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to arrest and prosecute any offender.

Noting that the dredging were short-term solutions, he said that the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, when completed, would help improve flood risk and solid waste management.

MrAsenso-Boakye said it would also improve access to basic infrastructure and services in the targeted flood-prone communities in the Greater Accra Region.

Sena Kofi Adiepena, Operations Manager of Dredge Masters Limited, expressed concerns about human activities on the banks of the Odaw drain.

He attributed heavy silting and solid waste deposit in the channel to the human activities and asked government to map out a buffer zone to help maintain the drains. 

 He further called for a monitoring mechanism on the banks to prevent encroachment of squatters and arrest persons who settle on the buffer zones.

Mr Adiepena said the company was currently engaged in maintenance dredging of the channel to allow free flow of water and prevent flooding.


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