The chiefs and people of Shiabu and Gbegbeyise, both communities in the Ablekuma West Municipality in Accra, have welcomed a decision by the Ablekuma West Municipal Assembly to dredge the Shiabu-Gbebeyise storm drain which runs through the two communities.
The dredging exercise, they believe, will be a lasting solution to the perennial flooding of the two communities as the storm drain “is clogged with heavy silt” resulting in the diversion of runoff water into households anytime it rains.
The project, which is expected to commence before the end of June, is part of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project funded by the World Bank.
At a durbar held at Gbegbeyise last Saturday, the assembly officially informed residents of the area about the commencement of the project and other matters relating to it.
The Ablekuma West Municipal Chief Executive, Mr George Cyril Bray, told the gathering that the commencement of the exercise was in response to continuous calls by the chiefs in the area regarding the need for the drain to be desilted.
He said the assembly had prioritised the project as it was aware of the extent to which property was destroyed in the communities due to a continuous flooding of the area.
“We are going to dredge the drain up to at least 50 feet deep so that when it rains, the water can flow freely and that, we believe, is the best way to finding a lasting solution to the cycle of flooding that has troubled our people for decades,” he stated.
Mr Bray hinted that the assembly had taken the strongest decision to demolish all unauthorised structures along the catchments of the drain to ensure a successful exercise.
He said although the move may appear distasteful to some persons residing along the drain, it would serve the collective interest of members within the two communities as the project intended to expand the size of the drain.
He, therefore, encouraged all persons whose structures may be affected to “peacefully collaborate with the exercise” as any form of resistance would attract severe sanctions.
The Gbegbe-Shiabu Chief, Nii Adote Faamlite I, expressed appreciation to the government for responding to their plea and pledged the support of the traditional authority towards the success of the project.
Some of the residents pleaded with the assembly to conduct an immediate marking exercise along the drain for them to know which structures would be affected to aid compliance.