Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr Hannah Bissiw, yesterday told Parliament that about 41 houses and structures would have to be demolished in order to properly clear the Lafa Drain of silt and construct it to help prevent flooding in some parts of Accra during rainfalls.
The Lafa Stream, which stretches over 11 km, flows through Mallam Kokoroko, Awoshie, Santa Maria, and Race Course and, according to the deputy minister, “to alleviate the flooding situation within the Lafa Basin, there should be free flow of runoff from upstream to the outfall”.
“That could be only achieved when structures located on the [watercourse] are relocated or removed,” she added in response to a question posed by the MP for Ablekuma North, Mr Justice Joe Appiah.
Mr Appiah wanted to know from the sector minister when silt in the Lafa River would be cleared to prevent the perennial problem of flooding whenever it rains.
Dr Bissiw noted that the natural alignment of the Lafa Drain had been seriously encroached upon. She indicated that apart from areas beyond the Motorway Crossing at Mallam where channel improvement or construction of the drain could be carried out without any restrictions, houses had been built either in the drain’s right of way or very close to it at several places.
She said the Hydrological Services Department had been carrying out periodic channel deepening and widening of stretches that allow access and space for machinery.
The deputy minister noted that the removal of structures on the watercourse would enable the Hydrological Services Department of the ministry to carry out full designs and costing of the entire works to be carried out in the Lafa Catchment for further action.
The deputy minister also told the House that the Community Water and Sanitation Agency would initiate a process of procurement for the rehabilitation of the Binduri Small Town Water Supply System once an ongoing review was completed.
Responding to a question by the MP for Binduri, Mr Stephen Yakubu, on steps being taken to resolve the water problems in Binduri, she said the ongoing review was focused on project profiles in all the 10 regions under the CWSA’s investment budget.
Dr Bissiw said works to be undertaken at the Binduri Small Town Water Supply System included drilling an additional borehole to augment the existing source of water, connecting the system to the national grid, laying new transmission line, constructing a new pump house and expanding existing network.