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24
Fri, Nov

Let’s get contractors to work again on sea defence projects

Work on the sea defence project at Fonko in the Ahanta West District has been abandoned

Prevention is said to be better than cure. It is also a fact that a stitch in time saves nine. But unfortunately in Ghana, this wise sayings seem not to be part of our lives.

This is evident in many instances where we see triggers of a looming disaster but we are slow to act. In the end, we are compelled under very strenuous circumstances to allocate huge sums of money to correct what we sat aloof to watch get out of hand.

As a country surrounded by very chaotic waters to the south, there is no doubt that the rising seas will definitely attempt to take part of our lands and shrink the size of our dear nation. In other jurisdictions with similar situations, measures have been put in place to prevent the sea from eating into the land to destroy properties, claim lives and deny people of their livelihoods.

The Daily Graphic can recall vividly the ordeal of our brothers and sisters living at Keta in the Volta Region, when the sea almost consumed the entire town. It took the intervention of the government, in spite of all the controversies surrounding the project, to at least bring the already bad situation under control.

But similar situations are dotted around the country as many of the areas near the sea are now being battered by tidal waves. The phenomenon is depriving many people of their source of livelihood because farmlands are being consumed while others are losing their homes. They are also unable to carry out any productive fishing activities.

It is for this reason that a conscious effort was made in the past to award contracts to have the projects revived to stop the sea from causing further havoc. Unfortunately, these projects have stalled.

Reports say contractors working on a number of sea defence projects have abandoned work due to lack of funds. Affected areas in the southern part of the Western Region include Adjoa and Fonko in the Ahanta West District, parts of Sekondi/Takoradi and the Shama Beach, Abuesi and Anlo.

Some hospitality facilities in those communities are constantly under threat, as high tides and the sand have almost swallowed the boulders heaped at the shore for the project.

Patronage of those facilities, which hitherto boomed with clients every weekend, has reduced drastically due to the threat posed by the sea.

In our quest to ascertain the veracity of the threat from the sea, the Daily Graphic visited Fonko and Adjoa, where some residents said the contractors were still on site but were yet to start work.

The situation, they said, was life-threatening and called for construction work to resume immediately. The beach resorts at Casablanca and Fonko have been completely destroyed. At Abuesi in the Shama District, the residents said the contractor had left the site. The situation at the Anlo Beach requires immediate evacuation to avert a looming disaster.

It is for this reason that we call on the government to take immediate steps to get the contractors back on the projects to save our people from being consumed by the impatient ocean.

What we need to bear in mind is that, it will be cheaper to prevent it now than wait until it gets out of hand.

We are very much aware of the dire financial situation of the country because revenue generation is below expectation. However, this challenge is something we can no longer postpone. The time to act to prevent the looming disaster is now.