Structures on waterways, poor drainage system cause of flooding – Experts

Construction on waterways, poor drainage system and rezoning of wetlands are the causes of the perennial flooding in the Ashanti Region, experts have said.
The experts warned that the Region should brace up for the worst given the rate of environmental degradation from the activities of citizens and authorities.
At least four people, including a one-year-old boy, were confirmed dead in the recent flooding, and property worth several thousands of Ghana Cedis destroyed.
Hundreds of people were displaced while some residents got injured after they were trapped under some weak structures, following three days of heavy rainfall.
The Regional Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), Mr Kwabena Nsenkyire, in an interview in Kumasi, said currently about 400 illegal structures were sited on water bodies.
The water bodies include the Subin River, which runs through many suburbs in Ghana’s second-largest city and the Susan, Aboabo, Atafoa, Kwada as well as Wewe streams.
The Regional NADMO Coordinator said the illegal structures must be pulled down to avert future disasters.
Meanwhile, Mr Emmanuel Danso, a Civil Engineer, advocated the expansion of the drainage system across the Region.
“We need to open up our drains because of the increase in the volume of water now running through them due to population increase and human activities,” he told the GNA.
The Civil Engineer warned against the dumping of solid waste into the drains, saying such practices impeded the free flow of water, especially during the rainy season.
Dr Stephen Appiah Takyi, a Development Planner and Lecturer at the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), impressed on the government to outlaw the rezoning of wetlands.
“Our wetlands are being redesigned at our own peril,” he said, these areas served as buffer zones meant to absorb the shocks from rainstorms.
He took a swipe at the city authorities for the negligence of duty regarding the protection of such eco-friendly sites.
Until the right thing was done the Region would continue to be plagued by flooding, he cautioned, adding that, the people needed to take a cue from how some cities globally were well-designed to stimulate socio-economic growth.

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