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24.03.2006 Regional News

Third phase of Odaw drainage near completion

By GNA

Accra, March 24, GNA - Work on Phase III of the Odaw Storm Drainage scheduled for completion on June 5, is almost ready, Mr Rens De Rijke, Project Manager of Interbeton, the contractors, said on Friday. He said that with 95 per cent of the project work done, the remaining five per cent would be completed before the date.

Mr Rijke said this during an inspection tour of the project site by Mr Charles Bintin, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Stanley Adjiri Blankson, Mayor of Accra and Mr A. Van der Wiel, Ambassador of the Royal Netherlands. The Phase III is being constructed at a total cost of 15 million Euros with the Government of Ghana contributing five per cent, while the Netherlands Government is contributing the rest. Nine million Euros of the Dutch facility is a loan whiles the rest is a grant. The team undertook the tour to ascertain at first hand the amount of work done so far.

Mr Rijke said the drain designed to last for at least 50 years involved the widening and deepening of the Odaw River over a length of 2,750 meters between Alajo Bridge and Apenkwa box culvert. It also involves the construction of concrete lined trapezoidal shaped channel of 23 meters wide and five meters deep, construction and rehabilitation of three pedestrian bridges and the construction of a railway bridge. Mr Rijke said the design was based on rainfall pattern that occurred once every 25 year. "We are, however, awaiting Parliament's approval of a loan facility of eight million Euros to enable us to extend the project beyond the Apenkwa box culvert, across the motorway extension into Achimota," he said.

The first phase was done at a cost of 10 million dollars and carried out by a Chinese Firm. The second phase was carried out by Sonitra at a cost of 15 million Euros and the third at a cost of 15 million Euros. If the new facility being sought to extend the project beyond the Apenkwa box culvert is approved by Parliament, then the total cost of the project would be 38 million Euros and 10 million dollars. Mr Van Der Wiel said to ensure the sustainability of the project, there was the need for Ghanaians to take environmental sanitation more seriously.

"The management of the drainage system cannot be done by the city authorities alone, but needs the collaboration of all citizens." Mr Adjiri Blankson said a concrete fence would be built to ensure that the Odaw Drain was not filled with silt and waste by hawkers at the proposed hawkers market. The wall would be 12 metres from the drain to allow vehicular movement during de-silting, he said.

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