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Despite its uncompleted status, the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project has made notable strides in reducing the risk of floods in Accra, according to Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, the project coordinator.

Accra, a bustling capital city, has long faced a persistent and growing threat from floods. This threat has been exacerbated by increasingly erratic rainfall patterns, rapid urbanization, poor sanitation, and encroachment on waterways.

The GARID project was launched to address these challenges by improving flood risk and solid waste management in the Odaw River Basin of the Greater Accra Region and enhancing access to basic infrastructure and services in the targeted communities within the basin.

Works and Housing Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, on April 12 this year, bemoaned the slow pace of work.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah,

According to him, “It is not moving as quickly as we had all initially expected. And this is due to a number of factors. Some of these processes include the review process and mechanisms that were put in, during the initial framework, the fact that compensation even for project-affected persons were not initially envisaged for the funding arrangement that were made.”

These issues, according to the GARID Project Coordinator, have since been resolved. Dr. Sarfoh highlighted that, “Once the approval from the World Bank came for the use of the resources, it has hastened and helped us to speed up. We are in a much better place than before when we didn’t have the resources. It has helped us to expedite compensation payment.”

Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh

He added that the project has made significant headway in reducing the risk of floods in Accra.

“If you look at the output so far, one could say that we have certainly been able to reduce the risk, if you look at the volumes of waste that have been taken out of our drains over the last three years. We may not be able to calibrate the quantitative measure to say we have reduced the risk by 10 percent today. But we are certainly aware that just by the output we reduced the risk of flooding.”

As the GARID project continues, the hope is for Accra to become a safer, more sustainable city, better equipped to handle the challenges posed by climate change and urbanization.

By Noble Crosby Annan