By: Elvis DARKO, Accra
Data compiled by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has revealed that flooding in Ghana killed 510 people and injured 309 others between 2015 and 2020.
1,446 flood events During the six-year period, Ghana recorded 1,446 flood events. 54,744 houses inundated, 136,563 acres of farmlands destroyed During the same period, 54,744 houses were inundated and 136,563 acres of farmlands destroyed. Ghana experiences flood disasters every year, resulting in loss of lives and property. The deficit in drainage facilities needed to mitigate floods
A report by the Auditor-General discovered that each year, from 2015 to 2019, the Hydrological Services Department (HSD) significantly fell short of implementing their target of drainage facilities needed to mitigate flooding nationwide. Only 12.2km of drains were constructed in 6 years Over the audit period, 12.2 kilometers representing 11% of the targeted 110 kilometers of drains were constructed. Retention ponds not done Disappointingly, none of the retention ponds targeted for 18 drainage basins had been done.
Drainage Master Plans not produced Since 2013, the Hydrological Services Department (HSD) of Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH) had included the production of Drainage Master Plans in the ministry’s sector Medium-Term Development Plans but did not prioritise, plan and budget for their production, the report revealed.
Stalled projects This was because Services Department (HSD) of the Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH) did not allocate sufficient budget to cover the planned length of drains, and Ministry of Finance did not release funds on time to complete drainage projects, causing the projects to stall. No maintenance of drains It found out that Hydrological Services Department and the Ministry of Works and Housing did not maintain completed and existing drains because maintenance was not prioritised and, therefore, not included in annual activity plans and budgets to enable implementation.
Weeds, silts, and debris choke drains As a result, the unmaintained drains had weeds, silts, and debris that impeded the smooth flow of water and reduced the effectiveness of existing drains to mitigate flooding.
These are captured in the Performance Audit Report of the Auditor-General on Provision of Flood Control Drains by Hydrological Services Department of the Ministry of Works & Housing. The Auditor-General commissioned the audit to ascertain measures that the Hydrological Services Department (HSD) of Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH) implemented had been effective and to recommend corrective actions for improvement.
The Auditor-General reviewed documents, interviewed field officers and visited project sites to physically inspect drainage facilities implemented in known flood-affected areas in the country between 2015 and 2020 to gather data for our assessment. Dated July 9, 2021, the report covered the period 2015 to 2019. GH¢117.7m spent on drains in 6 years The audit discovered that an amount of GH¢117 million (GH¢117,711,420.90) has been invested to construct and maintain drains and culverts in flood-prone areas in the country from 2015 to 2019.
One major flood disaster every year over the past 10 years Despite the investments in flood protection structures, the problem of flooding persists, with the country experiencing at least one major flood disaster every year over the past 10 years, thereby resulting in the loss of lives and property. Flood control measures not effective The report indicted the Hydrological Services Department for implementing measures that have largely not been effective in controlling and mitigating flooding in the country.
Lack of coordinated development of drainage facilities The report Hydrological Services Department did not produce Drainage Master Plans (DMPs) to guide the coordinated development of drainage facilities which affected department’s ability to plan the provision of flood control structures in a holistic manner. Contractors paid for only valid works done Per the report, contractors were paid for only valid works done and the final costs of projects were within their respective contract sums. 20 projects delayed, however, construction of 20 projects representing 74% of the 27 sampled projects delayed partly because of delayed payments to contractors which made them to suspend works on the projects. Inadequate monitoring and inspection of works.
According to the report, the Hydrological Services Department did not carry out adequate monitoring and inspection of works to ensure they were done to quality standards and specifications. Defects in 15 projects Consequently, the Auditor-General found defects in 15 projects representing 55% of the 27 sampled projects inspected that had not been corrected. Long-term and holistic planning of drainage The Auditor-General, therefore, made recommendations to the Hydrological Services Department (HSD) of Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH) to have a long-term and holistic planning of drainage development and collaborate with other key player agencies.
Drainage Master Plans required Also, the Auditor-General recommended that the Hydrological Services Department prioritise the development of Drainage Master Plans as a blueprint to guide key players to align drainage facilities and other civil infrastructure that create conflicts in drainage networks and reduced the efficiency and effectiveness of stormwater drains.
The report noted that Drainage Master Plans provide a framework to manage stormwater through proposed improvements to existing drainage networks. It also provides a means of synchronizing flood control drains with other civil works developed by other agencies for the efficient and effective drainage of stormwater.
SOURCE: The Finder