Dredge Masters, a subsidiary of Zoomlion Company Limited tasked with dredging the Odaw River, has assured it is working to prevent disastrous cases of flooding during the rainy season such as last year’s June 3 disaster.
As the first anniversary of the June 3 disaster that claimed over 150 lives approaches, concerns have been raised over the government’s preparedness to deal with flooding particularly in the national capital, Accra
This comes in the wake of recent rains this past weekend which led to flooding in some suburbs of Accra despite ongoing dredging works on some key drains which started last year.
The dredging exercise running concurrently at Alajo-Caprice, Odaw canal and the Korle Lagoon, is geared towards helping to direct the flow of water into the sea thus reducing the instances of flooding and potential loss of life and property.
Despite the reports of flooding following the recent rainfall, the Communications Manager of Zoomlion, Robert Coleman, has insisted that the impact of the flooding yesterday [Sunday], was minimal because of Dredge Masters’ work on the Odaw River.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Coleman said, “Work is being done and we will ensure that per the work that has been done, we will try and improve on it to ensure that when it rains, we will not have the level of flooding that we had last year.”
However, Mr. Coleman also intimated that there was an extent to which the dredging work could prevent flooding.
According to him, factors ranging from the intensity of the rainfall, length of rainfall and amount of waste running through the drains could influence whether the drains overflow or not.
“As to the magnitude, it is the almighty God that determines it… It depends on the rain pattern and the volume of waste that comes within a particular time. You can have rains within three hours and you can have within 30 minutes a heavy rain. That one, the drains may not be in a position to accommodate whether you have the largest drains or not. It depends on the volume,” he explained.
Regardless of the factors beyond their control, Mr. Coleman assured that his outfit would continue to ensure that runoff water flowed freely through the drains. he emphasized the promise that the company will do their best. He added that they would not renege on their effort to ensure that when it rains, there will be free flow of water so that we will not experience what happened on June 3, 2015.”
The June 3 disaster
We would sadly recall that tragedy struck in the capital city of Ghana, Accra in the late hours of Wednesday, June 3 2015 when in the midst of a torrential rain, fire gutted a GOIL gas station and buildings around near the Kwame Nkrumah circle, leaving not less than 96 people seeking shelter at the fuel station burnt to death.
The death toll of victims that died through the flood and fire disaster reportedly increased to about 175.