The Total fuel station located there has been constantly blamed for the floods in that area including
Briefing the media at the proposed construction site, he said it was not the location of the fuel station that was the cause of the problem but rather the consultants and the designers of the Mallam Junction end of the N1Highway, who did not take that part of the road into consideration while designing the road.
“They should have taken that drain into consideration by widening it and building it properly just like all the major drains in Accra – Alajo, Odawna and even the Lafa stream that have been built to pass under the N1 into the swamps behind the Mallam market,” he explained.
According to him, the problem stemmed from the run-off rainwater from Gbawe, CP and its environs. Unfortunately, the channel that carries the water into the swamp was not widened during the construction of the N1 Highway to carry the excess water which is now forced into a smaller channel and thus overshoots its banks and floods the area with its attendant loss of life and property.
Mr Akwei Thompson explained that under the envisaged plan, the channel would now be diverted through the fuel station into the storm-drain that carried water from McCarthy Hill into the swamp.
He said the construction would involve the temporary closure of the fuel station as it also had to relocate some of its underground tanks. The manager of the fuel station, Mr Prince Fia, who had been at post for the past five years, said the company’s management had agreed to the plan to divert the drain.
An inspection of the site by the media revealed that contrary to the widely held belief that Total had built a wall that prevented the rainwater from flowing into the swamp, the wall is not more than a foot high while an embankment has been built behind it closer to the stream to ensure the water drains into the appropriate channel.
The Municipal Roads Engineer, Mr James Quarcoo, who accompanied the Municipal Chief Executive, explained that the new underground box covered drain, which would be seven metres wide, would eventually be extended by 200 meters beyond the Mallam Junction to take care of all the run-off water that had always created flooding at the place.
He explained that this problem could have been solved with part of the Millenium Challenge Account funds that was used for the road, citing the channelling and construction of a proper drain for the Lafa stream which had permanently freed parts of Awoshie and areas around the Mallam market from floods.
Date for project
The date for the commencement of the drain construction was, however, not announced though the engineer gave an assurance that governments of Ghana and The Netherlands had agreed to provide the funds as soon as the final drawings had been approved and that was what would also determine the amount of money involved.
Mr Fia, who was accompanied by engineers from the multinational oil company, led by Mr James Hagan, project engineering manager, also agreed that the perennial floods had not helped the company financially as there were days that they could not operate because of the floods.
The station manager also revealed that the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Mr Mahama Ayariga, was at the station last week Thursday after the Wednesday torrential rain, which left the place flooded, to assess the situation.
The Total officials, who were on hand, said as soon as the station sold off its current stock, it would suspend taking in new stock to pave the way for the commencement of the construction works.