The Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has said in Parliament that his ministry has budgeted GH¢528 million to tackle perennial flooding in the capital city, Accra plus other regional capitals.
He said the money would be used for major desilting, concrete lining of most overbridge drains and construction of bigger drain storms to help ameliorate flooding in the cities and bigger towns in the country.
The minister who said this in his contribution to the 2020 budget debate in Parliament yesterday said the government had also spent an amount of GH¢597 million to build a sea defence wall and also protect coastal communities vulnerable to flooding from high tidal waves.
On housing, the minister said the government, through the ministry, was very much committed to providing affordable housing units to lower class and middle class residents of the country, stressing that the ministry had started a serious redevelopment of the Roman Ridge area in Accra where 444 housing units comprising 198 executive houses and 246 three-bedroom houses would be provided for the working class in the society.
He said apart from that, the ministry would complete all the abandoned affordable housing units across the country which would be cheaper for the ordinary Ghanaian.
According to the Works and Housing Minister, the Seglemi Housing Project started by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration would also be completed in due course, but the ministry is awaiting an audit report on the projects since there were some challenges with regard to the cost of the project so that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) can complete that housing project.
He said on a larger scale, the government is calling for partnership with the private sector to help build more houses to reduce the country’s housing deficit of two million.
According to him, government had also started 200 housing unit projects for the officers and men of the Police Service at Tesano in Accra and were at various stages of completion.
He said the housing sector had seriously been affected by the huge arrears of GH¢33 billion bequeathed to the NPP government as a result of the mismanagement of the economy by the previous NDC government.
The Ranking Member of Works and Housing Committee of Parliament and NDC MP for Ho West, Emmanuel Bedzrah, said the NPP government does not have any policy direction for the Ministry of Works and Housing, stressing that the only positive policy by the government was in the 2019 Budget Statement which the government said the State Housing Company would be collaborating with some private developers to construct 200,000 housing units for Ghanaians but to date not a single housing unit has been delivered by the government.