‘Adhere to building bye-laws to prevent floods’
The perennial flooding in Accra can only be reduced if developers adhere to the country’s building by-laws which permit that only 40 per cent of a parcel of land be developed, the President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), Mr Kwaku Boampong, has said.
According to him, the concrete surfacing of homes instead of natural vegetation coupled with lack of rain-water harvesting increased the risk of floods.
“In the building by-laws, you are not permitted to develop more than 40 per cent of your plot area. Not more than 40 per cent of your plot area should be covered but people sometimes cover even 100 per cent,” he told the Daily Graphic on the fringes of the annual Engineering Week celebration in Accra last Tuesday.
In most of the offices in Accra, concrete surfaces and terrazzo were all over the compounds, observed Mr Boampong, and added that “with the slightest of rains, the drains get filled and then run into storm drains and the next thing you know there is flooding.”
“Resilient and sustainable Infrastructure —The Role of Civilian and Military Engineers,” is the theme for the week-long event that is bringing together engineers across Ghana and parts of Africa to deliberate on how the profession could play a pivotal role in growth and development and also encourage a working relationship between engineers in the military and their civilian counterparts.
The GhIE president said there was the need “to control the way we manage water in our storm drains. Nature has its own way of recycling it if we build properly, and that reduces the amount of water that runs through our drains”.
The guest of honour for the occasion, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, a former Chief Executive of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, observed that the country would continue to struggle with its development unless serious attention was paid to waste management.
He also called for a policy that allowed students from technical institutions to work at constructions sites not just for experience but also document their knowledge to help the country bridge its knowledge gap.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Michael Samson-Oje, welcomed the collaboration between the military and civilian engineers to push the country’s development agenda.