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FLASHBACK: New technology to reduce flooding introduced

Floods are the second most prevalent and devastating natural disasters in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Accra floods

In 2019, the Ministry of Works and Housing has revealed its armory of flood prevention technologies.

The Ministry in collaboration with a Ghanaian company, Dredge Masters Ghana Limited, introduced the latest dredging technology to help reduce the perennial flooding situation in Accra.

The dredgers, known as the Amphibious Dredgers Water Master Classic V, are specially built for shallow dredging.

Apart from dredging, the two machines can also perform multiple functions such as hammering, piling, raking, and excavating, tasks that would have required separate machines to undertake.

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The machines reach 900 cubic metres per hour pumping output, 50 percent more efficient than the previous technology.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, commended the Zoomlion Group, the parent company of Dredge Masters, for continuously working to ensure a decent environment for the country even though the government owed it for unpaid works.

According to him, the company came to the rescue of the ministry at a time it was battling with the Accra sewage project and had since been dredging the Korle Lagoon and the Odaw River, a task he said would allow for the free flow of rainwater and prevent floods in the city.

He announced that Cabinet had approved a $200-million World Bank facility which would be used to help solve the Odaw challenges and described it as "a major relief to the country".

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But months after the launch of the technology, in Ghana's urban areas, like Accra and Kumasi, floods are mostly triggered by seasonal rainfall combined with poor drainage, the dumping of waste into waterways, and the low elevation of settlements.

The 2015 Accra floods resulted from heavy continuous rainfall in Accra, the largest city in Ghana.

The rain started on 1 June 2015. Other causes of this flood are as a result of the improper planning of settlement in Accra, choked gutters that block the drainage system, and a few other human factors.

The floods have resulted in heavy traffic on the roads in the city and also a halt in commercial activities as markets were flooded and workers trapped.

Former Mayor of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije described the flooding as critical.

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At least 25 people have died from the flooding directly, while a petrol station explosion caused by the flooding killed at least 200 more people.

Five years on, the flooding in Accra has not stopped.

The torrential rains in parts of the capital which caused this colossal loss could have been easily avoided through the existence of effective drainage systems.

Many of the flooding incidents have been as a result of inadequate gutters, storm drains among other facilities that ensure the free flow of water during a heavy downpour.

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On June 9, 2020, some parts of Accra have been flooded following Tuesday night's rains.

The downpour, which lasted for hours, has left many people around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange and adjoining communities displaced.

Some areas affected include Odaw, Avenor, Dansoman among others.

One person has been confirmed dead at Odawna, a suburb of Adabraka in Accra whose life was in danger when floods submerged homes of residents after hours of rainfall.

The team of security officers including the military, and National Disaster Management Operations (NADMO) were responding to distress calls from affected residents in the Odawna area, prone to floods for poor drainage and bad attitudes.

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The deceased, reports stated died by electrocution during the downpour.

Officials said about 20 persons have also been rescued so far.

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