Accra, Nov. 15, GNA - The Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing has spent 8. 5 billion cedis to construct 22 culverts in Accra. It has also another 10. 5 billion cedis to carry out channel improvement works to alleviate flooding in flood-prone areas in the capital in order to protect the lives and property of the city's inhabitants from the perennial floods.
Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, the sector Minister said that because of these projects, funded from the HIPC benefits, the usual difficulties associated with the rainy season did not surface this year. The Minister who was speaking at the weekly meet-the-press series in Accra, said the Ministry, in collaboration with Members of Parliament and the district assemblies, was making interventions in all constituencies to desilt and improve water channels in order to avert flooding and also improve sanitation.
He said the protection of coastal communities from hazards of coastal erosion and the overriding need to save their settlements and livelihoods was of paramount importance to the Ministry. Thus, this year, the Ministry, through the Hydrological Service Department, has completed the construction of sea defence and coastal protection structures at Nkontompo, near Sekondi, at a cost of 9.36 billion cedis and at Shama at a cost 1.5 billion cedis. The coastal protection works at Sakumono, near Tema, is being constructed at a cost of 6.6 billion cedis. Coastal protection works at a cost of 5.4 billion cedis has also commenced at Dixcove in the Western Region.
He said the Ministry had aswarded a contract for work to commence soon for the construction of a sea defence structure at Ngyiresia, near Sekondi, at a cost of 15 billion cedis to facilitate the construction of the Inchaban-Sekondi road.
On the Keta Sea Defence Project, the Minister said the project had been completed, adding that the resettlement of displaced inhabitants by the project implementation was not part of the original contract. About 10,000 people were displaced by the project. The resettlement package involves the construction of 836 houses of various types, which is ongoing, including the provision of facilities like electricity and water supply from Keta to resettlement sites. The Minister said since the implementation of the resettlement project, about 100 houses had been completed and occupied, and 342 houses that are on contract were at various stages of completion. An amount of 45 billion cedis would be needed to complete the entire project.
Mr Owusu-Agyemang said the Ministry intended to recommend the establishment of a Keta Basin Development Authority to develop and manage infrastructural development for industry, tourism, fishing and salt production.
This will ensure proper and equitable resource development and management in the Basin.
On the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project, the Minister said substantial work on the dredging of the lower and upper lagoons had been completed but the final cleaning up of the Kaneshie, Odaw, Korle and Agbogbloshie canals, and the removal of the mangrove island in order to bring the project to a successful completion is scheduled between November this year to April 2006.
On the Tamale Storm Water Drainage Project (TSWDP), he said construction of the 14-kilometre drains had been completed. This would help control flooding and to improve sanitation in the Tamale metropolis.
He said the Belgian government had agreed to provide funding for the Elmina Benya Lagoon and Fishing Harbour Rehabilitation Project and work was expected to commence soon and be completed by the middle of next year.