The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye has directed the Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly to take immediate steps to stop ongoing building construction works by some private developers on the Kpeshie Lagoon Wetlands in Teshie, a suburb of Accra to stop immediately, ahead of the rainy seasons.
This came to light when the Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye (MP), accompanied by officials of the Ministry, the Hydrological Services Authority and some Municipal Assemblies within the Greater Accra region embarked on a working visit to inspect the progress of ongoing drainage works in selected flood-prone areas in the city, and also to assess the readiness of the completed drainage infrastructure ahead of the rainy season.
The Kpeshie Lagoon Wetlands, the Kordjor River, all in the Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly, as well as the La Dade-Kotopong where parts of the buffer are, were seen with heavy building constructions by private developers, including Messrs RA CONGLOMERATE, operating without the appropriate building permits, and eventually filling the reserved buffer, which is meant to hold excess volumes of water flow during heavy rains.
In recent times, several illegal structures comprising residential buildings as well as heavy encroachment by developers in some notable wetlands have conspired to thwart the investments of the Government in its efforts to provide drainage infrastructure across the country.
Orders of the President
This unfortunate development caused the President, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to issue directives to all Metropolitan, Municipal and Assemblies (MDAs) to pull down structures that are illegally sited on waterways and in wetlands.
He has therefore called on the Assemblies under whose jurisdictions the illegal constructions are taking place, to take the necessary step to comply with the directives of the President and demolish structures that have been erected within wetlands or in waterways, and thereby, further exposing the city to the devastation of perennial flooding.
The sector Minister expressed shock at the rate at which the Kpeshie Lagoon Wetlands and its buffer reserve areas are blatantly being filled with construction materials by private developers.
Mr Asenso-Boakye reminded the Assemblies of the directives of H.E. the President to pull down structures that are illegally cited within or on the way of wetlands or waterways that have the tendency to contribute to the perennial flooding in the country.
“It is unfortunate that despite the heavy investment in drainage infrastructure over the years, irresponsible behaviour of private developers continues to expose the city, especially in areas, which hitherto, were not noted for flooding”. The Minister stated.
The sector Minister said the power to embark on a demolition exercise on the illegal structures lies within the Assemblies and therefore called on them to act swiftly to avert flood-related disasters with the onset of the rainy season.
Commenting on the need to demolish structures built on waterways and in wetlands, the MCE for the La Dade-Kotopon where the Kpeshie Lagoon buffer is, Mr Solomon Kotey Nikoi said, “the Assembly’s efforts to stop the building of illegal structures have become a challenge that needs the urgent intervention of its supervising Ministry. Efforts to stop, demolish and arrest culprits have been met with assaults by land guards and death threats.”
He suggested that Government constitute a national task force to deal with the menace of encroachment in wetlands.
On the security challenge, the Works and Housing Minister assured of his readiness to engage his senior colleague at the Local Government Ministry to solicit the support of security authorities to deal with private developers who are bent on thwarting the efforts of the government with blatant disregard for the laws, towards the flooding menace.