Floods: $5b won’t solve it; we got the basics wrong; tackle poor planning – Kwabena Agyepong

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City authorities got the basics in planning wrong hence, the recurrence of floods in parts of the country especially the capital Accra, Former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who is also a Civil Engineer, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, has said.

He asked the government not to throw money into the efforts to resolve flood problem because it is not just about money. In his view, the situation calls for proper planning.

He was reacting to a comment by the Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye that it would cost the government over US$5 billion to solve Ghana’s perennial flooding situation.

Mr Asenso-Boakye said a press conference in Accra on Sunday June 12 that “Some studies have been done, and they indicate that to address the flooding issue in the country, Ghana will need about US$ 5 billion to be able to address the flooding challenges across the country. This was done some time ago and so if we have to use it, we have to review it because a lot has happened since then.”

Asked whether the authorities are getting it right in terms of measures to solve the flood menace in an interview with TV3’s Johnnie Hughes on Monday June 13, Mr Kwabena Agyepong answered “No, we are not. We got the basics wrong because, again, I ask, what is in the name? There used to be a Town and Country Planning. The Town and Country planning communicates itself when you hear Town and Country Planning. Now nobody knows, people don’t even feel it.

“Now the implementing agencies which have become the District Assemblies, do they have the technical capacity to deliver and make sure that an area is declared first, a planned area before any infrastructure or building can be allowed? We have substituted planning permission with building permission in this country, that is totally different thing. There should be planning first.

“So Town and Country Planning should be developing plans and schemes so that all the elements in the ecosystem that we need to have a thriving environment, the drainage, fire belt, the sustainable drainage system, those things have to be incorporated into the design.

“The green cover of Accra, if you look at the digital map of Accra from 1900, I have taken time time to look at it, till now, we have lost 65 per cent of Green Cover.”

Asked whether ¢5billion will be able to solve the problem, he said “I don’t think so. It is not just the money, don’t throw money at it.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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