Accra Mayor Warns Odaw Banks Squatters

Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah

Those living along the banks of the Odaw River, Circle, Accra, have been given a two-day ultimatum to move or face eviction.

According to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, there are many makeshift structures along the banks which have not been authorized by the city authorities.

The assembly said the illegal structures were impeding the ongoing dredging works in the Odaw River by Dredge Masters Limited (DML), a project being undertaken for two years to prevent perennial flooding of the city.

The Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, gave the ultimatum on Wednesday when he toured the area as part of efforts to rid the city of filth and also to ensure that people were complying with the safety protocols of Covid-19.

He visited Circle, Avenor, Graphic Road, where he monitored ongoing dredging works in the Odaw and Korle Lagoon. He later went to Teshie and other parts of the city and was accompanied by some of his senior officers and the Operations Manager of DML, Sena Kofi Adiepenna.

He described as worrying the situation where people continuous to build close to the drains of the Odaw River.

He said the continuous stay of the people along the banks of the Odaw River is making it difficult for DML to get the buffer for their heavy-duty equipment to carry out dredging works in the river.

He explained that the banks of the Odaw play a multi-purpose role. And aside from facilitating navigation of heavy-duty equipment, it also serves as a buffer to allow floodwaters to flow freely.

The mayor said the dredging of the Odaw and Korle Lagoon forms part of efforts by the government to rid the capital city of filth, floods and create a healthy environment for residents.

Besides, he said the deployment of military and police personnel in Accra was to help enforce the environmental sanitation bye-laws.

According to him, the prevalence of the Covid-19 epidemic, particularly within the Accra Metro, Madina, LADMA area was very high, saying they were enforcing the mandatory wearing of face masks to stem the tide.

The Operations Manager of Dredge Masters Limited, Kofi Sena Adiepenna, lamented that the presence of squatters along the banks of the Odaw including motorbike and bicycle repairers, scrap dealers, cattle rearers was hampering their work.