Woes of Odaw River deepens

BY: Kwame Asare-Boadu
The Odaw River full of weeds and solid waste
The Odaw River full of weeds and solid waste

From the dumping of waste to massive silting, the woes of Accra’s Odaw River is deepening by the day as the river is now being clogged up by weeds.

The invasion of the weeds, which is concentrated in places where the river is heavily silted at Odorna, is threatening its continued existence.

A lot has been written and said about the poor management of the Odaw, and for now, it appears managers of Accra are clueless as to how to tackle the challenge.

The river, which flows from Abokobi and Adjankote hills through Ashongman, Atomic Energy area, West Legon, Achimota, Alajo, Avenor, Agbogbloshie before entering the Atlantic Ocean through the Korle Lagoon, could have been a source of beauty and revenue generation by the city, if well managed .

Poor waste management

But poor waste management in the city has resulted in the dumping of all manner of waste in the river resulting in heavy pollution.

It is not known what type of aquatic weed is spreading in parts of the river.

Although a dredger was seen in the river at Odorna earlier this year, very little work was done to clear the silt.

Role of Water Resources Commission

Has the Water Resources Commission (WRC) any role to play in protecting the Odaw?

The Act that established the commission (Act 522 of 1996) positions the Commission as the "overall body responsible for water resources management in Ghana."

Among the functions of the WRC are to "collect, collate, store and disseminate data or information on water resources," "monitor and evaluate programmes for the operation and maintenance of water resources, " and "advise pollution control agencies in Ghana on matters concerning the management and control of pollution of water resources."

But the question is whether the commission has lived up to its responsibilities.