According to the Chief Executive Officer of the AMA, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, the initiative forms part of the assembly’s effort to save the city from the hazards that result from the blockage of drainage channels.
Dr Vanderpuije mentioned this when he toured some areas in the metropolis to assess the dredging and clearing of canals and other drainage channels last Wednesday.
He inspected drains behind the Paloma Hotel at Nima, drains at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, South Kaneshie, Graphic Road and the Korle Lagoon.
At the time of the visit, some drain engineers were busily clearing sand and other waste materials from drainage channels.
Dr Vanderpuije advised the public to desist from dumping refuse into open drains, an act which had the tendency to cause floods when it rained.
The dredging is also part of the first phase of the Accra Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Drainage Alleviation Project, popularly referred to as the Conti Project, and is expected to end by June, this year.
Funds for the entire project are, however, yet to be released by the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the United States of America.
Parliament in October 2011 approved a loan of $663,299.496 from the EXIM Bank and Standard Chartered Bank to dredge the Korle Lagoon and construct a drainage system to avert floods.
The project, expected to be executed in phases, involves the dredging of the Odaw stream, starting from the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP), construction of an engineer sanitary landfill site where all garbage will be processed and recycled for other purposes, the construction of 50 public toilets and the operation and maintenance of a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) at James Town, among others.
Parliament approved the US EXIM loan because the AMA cannot borrow on its own budget.
However, on June 3, 2015, a heavy rainfall caught the nation unaware, causing massive flooding and destroying life and property.
This development made the government embark on putting emergency flood prevention measures in place, particularly the clearing of choked drains.
Follow up measures include the routine maintenance of drainage channels and the construction of new ones, as well as clean-up exercises.
Dr Vanderpuije reiterated that the measures adopted were to ensure a reduction or the total elimination of the June 3, 2015 incident so that Accra would have a flood-free rainy season.
He made reference to the monthly National Sanitation Day exercise, which he said the assembly had carried out religiously.
As to whether the assembly will pull down structures that are on watercourses this year, Dr Vanderpuije indicated that a small area along the Alajo drains would be tackled.