Poor monitoring systems blamed for floods

A real estate expert, Emmanuel Gyane, has attributed Accra’s perennial floods mainly to a lack of monitoring systems in the city.


Emmanuel Gyane, Chief Executive Officer of real estate company Altheo Ventures and Construction Limited, said that Accra’s perennial floods could be mitigated if city officials would impose measures to prevent the construction of buildings on waterways.


Mr. Gyane explained that constructing a building on a waterway blocks the free flow of water bodies and, as a result, causes floods when it rains. He advocated the introduction of measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.


“I think there is a gap between Accra’s building planning system and implementation. The plans have been rightly drafted but adherence to it is poor,” he said.


“Some individuals build on waterways without going through the right process. There is the need for authorities to put measures in place to prevent this from happening,” he continued.


Mr. Gyane also noted that an absence of building inspectors on construction sites had led to some developers taking undue advantage of the situation, despite the fact that these inspectors were responsible for ensuring that building projects were completed under strict specifications.


He added that the law mandates all individuals in the country to go through a required process of surveying a piece of land, hiring an architect to supervise building plans, and obtaining a building permit before beginning construction.


Subsequently, building inspectors are supposed to be dispatched to the construction site to verify that building requirements are followed. However, building inspectors are typically absent from the project site during construction.


“When construction begins, building inspectors are supposed to visit the site to ensure that the developer is building in accordance with the permit.


“However in Ghana, it is typical to find them inspecting only project sites being developed by big companies. Others are overlooked, leading to some exploiting the situation to put up improper buildings,” he said.


Mr. Gyane finally spoke on the need for households to help reduce flooding in Accra by keeping their gutters and surroundings clean. He suggested that the reintroduction of systems would ensure a strict adherence to good sanitation among the public.


“The public’s attitude towards sanitation is also worrying. We do not have any system in place that would allow fines to be handed to individuals who litter the streets and choke gutters. This system was practiced ages ago and we need something similar today,” he concluded.


Managing Director of Lamudi Ghana Akua Nyame-Mensah said, “we all have to play a part in ensuring that our environment is able to appropriately deal with the annual rains. As Accra continues to develop and become even more urbanized and vertical, it will be important that areas that were marked as waterways are cleared.”


“Water needs to be able to make its way back into the ground and areas that are covered over with cement and buildings produce runoff that can damage or flood lower lying areas or property,” she said.