Accra, April 18, GNA- The Ministry of Works and Housing is seeking support from the Ministry of National Security to guarantee the safety of Assemblies in enforcing laws against development in waterways and wetlands.
The Ministry said staff of some Assemblies, including District and Metropolitan Chief Executives, had been receiving death threats in their quest to enforce the law, with some developers deploying armed land guards to prevent assemblies from doing their work.
Addressing a news conference in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Minister for Works and Housing, said the Ministry had formally written to the National Security Ministry about the situation.
He cited a situation in the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly where the Kpeshie Lagoon, wetlands and its buffer reserve areas were being filled with construction materials to reclaim the land for development.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said the Ministry had learnt that the site was guarded by armed men deployed by developers, making it difficult for the Assembly to halt the illegal activities in the reserved area.
“The MCE recounted an occasion where one of the developers threatened him and asked that he finds out how the predecessor died.
“It will be recalled that the predecessor was allegedly killed when a vehicle ran into her while jogging on the street,” the Minister said.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said building on watercourses which results in perennial flooding had become “a big development issue,” adding that human activities were undermining efforts by the Government to address the situation in Accra.
“To address the human-induced challenges, the Ministry has engaged with the Ministry of National Security to seek support for the Assemblies to enforce planning laws and building regulations to stop development on the Kpeshie wetlands and other water bodies across the country,” he said.
Mr Asenso-Boakye appealed to the public to support Government’s efforts by respecting rules and regulations governing settlement planning and avoid development in waterways and drainage buffers.
He said the Ministry had made considerable progress in its efforts to mitigate flood risks and reduce the incidence of flooding in flood-prone communities through the 2018 and 2020 National Flood Control Programmes.
The Minister said from 2018 to date, the Government had committed GHc 450 million to the National Flood Control Programme.
He said under the Programme, 370 desilting projects and 84 drainage channel construction projects had been completed, while 118 were at various stages of completion.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said the Ministry was also developing Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) for the Greater Accra Region to afford people in vulnerable communities the benefit of advanced notice of flooding so they could take steps to protect their lives and valuables.
“The Ministry will continue to engage the Ministry of Finance to raise the necessary funds to enhance the flood resilience of our communities,” he assured.
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