President John Dramani Mahama on Friday said the ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ settlement was an indictment on Ghanaians and government would employ all other means including re-settlement to allow the free flow of the drains in the area.
He said before the re-settlement, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly would carry out sensitization programmes on their re-settlement before any demolition exercise could be carried out.
President Mahama said this when he visited the Korle-Lagoon and other areas, where dredging exercises were ongoing, following the recent floods and fire outbreak that killed more than 150 people.
Accompanied by Mr Julius Debrah, the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Roads and Highways and Alhaji Abass Ahulu, the Chief Director of Roads and Highways, President Mahama also visited the Odawna dredging project at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and the dredging of the Graphic road overpass side of the lagoon.
The dredging exercise is a collaboration between the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, which would work on a total of 1.5 kilometres within six months.
President Mahama said although efforts were made some years back to re-settle the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah at Adjinkotoku, government’s inability to complete the projects delayed the movement.
The President said notwithstanding the growing numbers of residents, ranging between 50,000 and 60,000, re-settlement was a better option to reduce the huge human activity that had over the years become detrimental to the free movement of water in the lagoon.
He said their continuous stay was dangerous and government was therefore committed to re-settling them to pave way for some modern infrastructural development that would make those areas attractive.
President Mahama, who attributed the indiscriminate dumping of garbage into the lagoon to attitudinal challenges, urged Ghanaians to change for the better, since change was instrumental to the growth and development of the people and the country as a whole.
On mobilization of resources, President Mahama commended all the organizations that contributed equipment towards the dredging of the drains in the capital.
“Resolving any problem is to understand it and I promise that once we have started the exercise it will continue.”
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, the Minister of Roads and Highways said under the emergency mobilization, they managed to acquire 29 Tipper Trucks and eight excavators to carry out the dredging.
He gave the assurance that the exercise would be carried out to reduce the filth and avert future floods.