The first phase of dredge works on some major drains from Alajo to Caprice and ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ in Accra has been completed and would be handed over to the government in September this year.
The second phase of the dredge works, which is yet to start, would involve further dredging and beautification of lands lying adjacent to the drains.
A subsidiary company of the Zoomlion Group of Companies, Dredge Masters was the company that was contracted by the government in November last year to clear the drains of silt after a philanthropic gesture by a construction company, Engineers and Planners, in the aftermath of the June 3 flood disaster in 2015.
At the moment, water is flowing freely through the drains. Vehicular movement along the drains which hitherto was halted has now resumed.
Traders have, however, begun doing business, with shops springing up along the lanes that run adjacent to the drains.
In an interview with the radioxyzonline after a tour of the dredge sites, the Operations Manager of Dredge Masters, Mr Sena Adiepena, said during the dredging exercise, a lot of unwanted materials such as used fridges, car tyres and parts including suspected human bones were cleared from the drains.
Aside from that, he said residents who had settled along the drains, even after the dredge works, continued to dump refuse and other unwanted materials into them, thus making it difficult to maintain the open drains.
“The challenge we are facing concerns settlement along the drains. The settlers put a lot of foreign materials into the drains. Even in broad daylight you see people throwing refuse into the drains,” he lamented.
Mr Adiepena, therefore, suggested that settlers along the borders of the drains should be evicted and the place cordoned off to prevent further encroachment and settlement.
He has also suggested to the city authorities to deal strictly with people who build on watercourses to prevent flooding.
The Registrar of the Council of Engineers and Consultant to the dredging project, Ing Wise Ametefe, said returning the Korle Lagoon to its original form was achievable only if Ghanaians would change their attitude by avoiding indiscriminate dumping of refuse into open drains.
“Dumping of refuse into open drains is a major challenge because of the difficulty in scooping silt from the lagoon which is always mixed with plastic and other materials,” he explained.