Construction work on the 1.2-kilometre Nima-Maamobi storm drain has stalled as a result of lack of funds.
The Brazilian Costruction Company, Queiroz Galvao, working on the project abandoned the site early last year when resources for the project ceased to flow.Follow @Graphicgh
The storm drain was part of an urban expansion project and was scheduled to be completed in October 2017, but from all indications, the project will remain undeveloped as long as the financial aspect is not addressed.
The drain which was also to ease the perennial flooding of Nima and Maamobi during the rainy season, as well as enhance the sanitation in the highly populated Muslim community, has been turned into a refuse dump.
When the Daily Graphic visited the project site, popularly known as "Alhamdu gutter”, part of the site was filled with human excreta, rubbish and dirty and stinking stagnant water.
The Daily Graphic team observed that some structures built along the uncompleted drain could collapse as erosion had gradually eaten up their foundations and walls.
The drain begins from Kawokudi Junction in Kanda through the Paloma Restaurant on the Ring Road Central to the Korle Lagoon.
A resident, Ms Zeinab Ibrahim, told the Daily Graphic that her house had been washed away by erosion due to the bad state of the drainage.
She added that they had no option than to fill the open drains with refuse as a way of checking erosion and preventing future mishaps.
She, however, appealed for immediate intervention from the government to construct the drain as early as possible in order to save property and lives, especially of the children who live in the community.
In 2015 when former President John Dramani Mahama cut the sod for the reconstruction of the drain, he indicated that all resources had been put together for the project to become a reality.
However, in what has become a nine-days’ wonder, the residents have been kept in fear, with the onset and predictions of heavy rains this year.
A section of the storm drain that is earmarked for development
An Assembly Member for Maamobi East, Mr Derick Asagba, said all efforts to reach the contractor and the ministry in charge of the project had proved futile.
“Now, we don't know the one in charge of the project. We have moved to the various departments, including the Works and Housing Ministry, the Urban Roads and even the Zongo Intercity Development Ministry, and no one seems to be giving us attention,” he lamented.
“However, we are planning to hold a press conference to draw the attention of the government to the project,” Mr Asagba stated.
A Member of the Council of Muslim Chiefs, Alhaji Baba Issah, told the Daily Graphic that the state of the project was a big worry to the Zongo community and the entire residents.
“We are pleading with the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and whoever is in charge of the project to come to our aid and complete the drains for us before the rains set in,” he urged.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso North, Mr Yusif Jaja, indicated that the project, which has been turned into a refuse dump by residents, was supposed to be completed by October 15, 2017.
He said, “Early last year 2017, I asked the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, when the project would be completed, and he said October 15, 2017. Perhaps, we are still not near the completion stage. We are, therefore, calling on him to complete the project because the work needs to be completed.”
The Communications Director of the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development, Mr Seibik Bugri, said the ministry had not received the mandate to supervise the completion of the Nima-Maamobi project.
According to him, the Zongo Ministry had not been given a budget yet to undertake developmental projects since its inception.
“We are just looking at sanitation issues in parts of the Zongo communities for now; we are handicapped to begin any major project,” Mr Bugri said.