Assembly demolishes illegal structures ahead of rainy season

The Tema West Municipal Assembly has begun demolition of buildings constructed on waterways at Lashibi in Accra.

The demolition exercise follows an earlier directive by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, during a visit to the site.

In a brief interaction with the media during the exercise, the Municipal Engineer of  Tema West said the move is to help reduce the perennial flooding in the area.

Expressing his commitment to the task, Vincent Blah Quarshie reiterated, “The rainy season is almost here so it is important to us in Tema West that we all remain safe. This should be a wake-up call to all of us”.

“The Regional Minister’s visit was welcoming because we already had an action plan to demolish buildings on waterways,” he added.

For the affected persons, the assembly did not offer much sympathy after the demolition exercise.

Mr Quarshie said victims should accept blame for building in waterways.

Accra’s problem

Accra, which is sited in a low-lying area, experiences flooding annually.

The flooding is not unaided by human activity, mainly the haphazard construction of houses, especially on watercourses, poor drainage and a poor waste management system that chokes the drains with refuse.

Efforts by the city authorities to check the situation continue to be undermined by recalcitrant residents and the weak enforcement of bye-laws.

In 2011, floods in the country resulted in the death of more than 30 people nationwide, with 15 victims in Accra in addition to the destruction of property running into millions of cedis.

In 2015, a twin flood and fire disaster at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle claimed more than 150 lives.

Flooding in Accra also killed several people and displaced hundreds in the city in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2010.

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