Work on Swedru Akora River drainage project stalls

BY: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey
Part of the drain constructed that has  been taken over by weeds
Part of the drain constructed that has been taken over by weeds

Construction work on the 2.4-kilometre Swedru Akora River drainage project has stalled for the past two years, apparently as a result of lack of funds.

Las Adventuras Company Limited, the construction company working on the project, abandoned the site in 2016 and has since not returned to the project site to complete the project which is intended to address the perennial flooding at Agona Swedru.

Eight years ago, Swedru was severely hit by floods which affected about 14,568 residents and claimed the lives of 11 people.

Though the water level of the main Akora River had increased, the residents didn’t expect any floods.

Ideally, the main river’s water level would increase only when there were heavy rains at Oda and its surrounding communities where it takes its source from.


Areas affected

Suburbs in Swedru such as Otabilkrom, Mahodwe, Ankyease, Salem, Sabon Zongo and Nkubem were not spared as they were heavily hit.

The most affected community was Sabon Zongo, a Muslim community that is located close to the river. The entire community was washed away while majority of the buildings were destroyed.

The water which flowed after some hours destroyed the two main bridges in the town, the main concrete bridge and the Bailey bridge.

The destruction of the bridges brought untold hardship to drivers and pedestrians in their daily activities as there was constant gridlock in the town.

It also affected several business entities, including Left Eye Spot, Home Touch Guest House, Pentecost Convention Centre, Swedru Sawmills, Christ Apostolic Church International, Jabez Hotel, Apostolic Church Ghana and the Agricultural Development Bank.

Sod-cutting

In March 2012, President John Evans Atta Mills performed a sod-cutting ceremony for the commencement of the drainage project which cost runs into millions of Ghana cedis. The project was to be executed by Las Adventuras Limited, after funds were released by the government through the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing.

Dynamite destroys steel bridge

On Sunday, February 9, 2014, the contractor decided to remove the heavy rocks by using dynamite to blast them to make it easier for the river to be dredged. The intensity of the blast blew parts of the Bailey bridge, rendering it unusable.

As a result of this development business and economic activities came to a standstill. The blast also damaged portions of the residence of Nana Kobina Botwe, the Chief of Agona Swedru and other nearby houses.