The Odaw canal filled to the brim after yesterday’s downpour
The Odaw canal filled to the brim after yesterday’s downpour
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Flooding beckons after half-hour downpour

A half-hour downpour yesterday morning did not cause any havoc but again indicated how Accra remains exposed to flooding.

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Suddenly, the Odaw drain around the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange and the Agbogbloshie end of the drain, were filled to the brim, signifying an overflow had the rains continued.
The rain, which started at about 9:25 a.m., also left ponds of water around Odawna, Adabraka and high levels of flood waters on road surfaces at Kaneshie, Kasoa and other parts of the capital.

Concerns

The development raised concerns about the resilience of Accra's drainage system to the anticipated downpours in the coming months as human activities and engineering defects have combined to impede the flow of runoff water.

When the Daily Graphic team visited some flood-prone areas in Accra such as the Graphic Road, the Kaneshie Market, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Odawna at Adabraka, it was observed that some of the minor drains connecting the main Odaw drain were choked with solid waste. It was also observed that the silt that was removed from the Odaw and dumped at the bank of the drain has started going down the drain.

While some of the gutters were too narrow to convey the rainwater, plastics and other forms of solid waste made the situation worse. In some of the areas, particularly Kaneshie, floodwater deposited plastic waste on the road and impeded vehicular movement.

The rainwater had also inundated the road from Mpamprom to the Metro Mass Transit head office at Kaneshie. Tonnes of debris also piled up on the shoulders of the road, obstructing pedestrian movement.

In the process, some market women were seen clearing floodwater from the frontage of their shops, while others salvaged some wares that had been affected by the floods.

Damaged drains

At the Kaneshie First Light, the Daily Graphic team observed that some drains got broken, paving the way for floodwaters to inundate that section of the Dr Busia Highway. At the time of the visit, however, vehicular traffic was quite normal compared with previous rainy days.

Some traders, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, said they dreaded future downpours, given yesterday’s portentous outcome. A mechanic along the Odaw drain at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Kwaku Anan, called for the reinstitution of a dredger on the banks of the drain to continuously desilt the basin.

He said in the early 1990s and 2000s, such floods induced by too much water in the Odaw drain were absent because of continuous dredging.

Background

The Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project has been underway to improve drainage and curb the perennial flooding in the city for about 10 years (refer to story on page 13)

However, the country requires almost $700 million to execute projects to enhance flood protection regimes along the Odaw basin to build resilience against the perennial flooding in Accra to last for 25 years. 

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