What started as the construction of a drain to ensure the smooth flow of waste water and improve sanitation in the Mamobi- 441 community, now poses a threat to the lives of residents in the community.
Structures built along the now uncompleted drain, which runs from Kawokudi Junction through Paloma Restaurant to the Korle Lagoon, are on the verge of collapse as erosion has gradually eaten up the walls of these houses.
Some residents have therefore willingly abandoned their structures while others have resorted to dumping refuse behind their houses as a way of fighting erosion.
The first part of the Mamobi drainage, which was awarded to the State Construction Company (SCC), was completed 1999, but the second phase, which runs from the Mamobi bridge to Kawokudi junction, is still struggling to see the light of day.
The drain is now filled with human excreta, rubbish and dirty stinky stagnant water which makes it almost impossible to breathe when passing through the community.
People whose houses are close to the drain, stand a high risk of losing their lives and property during heavy floods because the rains over the years have eaten up the walls of the drain.
There are reported cases in which flood waters (from the drain) destroyed some houses and property while some mothers also reported that their children fell in the drain and were injured.
With the onset and predictions of heavy rains this year, residents now fear for their lives citing that the rains has already exhibited its wrath in what they consider as better layout communities.
Speaking to Daily Graphic, Madam Alice Dotse, a 76 year old woman who has lived in the community for close to 40 years, said residents are compelled to dump refuse at the edges of the gutter to prevent further breakdown of walls of houses which face the gutter.
She narrated a scene she witnessed during one of the heavy rains in the past years, where a wall of one of the houses broke down and washed down properties worth thousands of Ghana cedis.
“I remember being able to save a bag of clothing for the people. By the time the rain stopped, all their belongings were gone. It was a very sad moment especially when the woman had just given birth,” she said.
Madam Dotse said the creaky wooden bridge was constructed by the residents to aid crossing of the gutter.
“The bridge we built has been subjected to change over the years due to the depth of the drain. Because it is built with wood, the rain sometimes washes it down and we have to collect money from residents and those who use the bridge on a daily bases to rebuild it.”
She added that in the early 1990’s, the then President Rawlings participated in the cleaning of the gutter and called for an immediate construction of a drain.
This however came to light when part of the drain was constructed leaving the one within the Mamobi-441 community.
She however appealed for an immediate intervention from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to help put the gutter in good shape before it eats to their homes.
Another resident, Alhaji Gado, who spoke with fury, recalled being a victim of the wrath of the heavy rain when he slipped and fell in the gutter while he was clearing rubbish behind his house.
“Most of the time, people pour rubbish into the gutter when it rains. This sometimes get stuck in the gutters behind their houses when they don’t come out to direct it into the main gutter. This results in the mosquitoes coming into their rooms.” he explained.
Holding a shovel in hand, Mr Seidu said there was a time when the heavy rains cracked his bedroom wall and before he realised his room was flooded.
He also expressed his concern about the need to construct the drain as early as possible in order to save the lives of the people especially the children who live in the community.
However, in October last year, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ayawaso East Constituency, inaugurated the Nima Mamobi Urban Storm Water Management to a tune of GHC7.3 million.
The project, expected to complete within two years, is aimed at leading the mitigation and perennial flooding and enhancement of sanitation in the community.
It has, however, come to a halt due to financial constraints and lack of resources to push the project and make it a reality.
Dr Ahmed, in an interview, said the delay in the execution of the project was also a result of poor performance on the side of the contractor.
“The contractor has not performed up to the expectation of government hence two warning letter have been sent to him on the way he is handling the project,” he explained.
Also, the contractor is faced with the challenge of resources such as the premix concrete which are scarce in supply.
He, however, said plans are far advanced to make an arrangement from a company in Australia to procure a regular supply of the premix concrete.
An effort to reach the Chief Executive Officer of Caspian Energy Ghana Ltd, Mr Humphrey Quaye, who is the contractor of the project, has, however, proved futile.
(THE PICTURES WERE TAKEN BY ME AND I DEDICATE THIS FEATURE TO MY MOTHER, HAJIA AYISHETU SALIFU.)