The Chief Resident Engineer on the three-tier Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra, Mr Kweku Diafo, has debunked suggestions that the construction of the interchange is a major cause of floods in the area.
Rather, he explained that the Odaw canal had been silted, making it difficult for water to pass through it.
According to Mr Diafo, water that must percolate the land is being prevented because houses were built on watercourses, hence runoff that must go into the soil rather runs on the surface.
“We are looking at the canal as the final point to discharge rainwater so if it is not desilted, then we might have a problem.
“When the canal is full, all other drains that flow into it such as the drains from Ring Road Central, North Kaneshie and all runoffs that naturally drain into the canal do not flow,” he said.
If the drain had been blocked by the construction as people were suggesting, he explained that the water would go upstream, get to the blockage and go back into the drain.
Progress of work
About 99 per cent of the foundation works which the rain would have hindered had been completed.
When the Daily Graphic visited the construction site last Monday, the contractors had completed the Akasanoma and Nsawam flyovers of the project. Works on the Ring Road flyover that traverses the old overhead bridge on the Faanofaa road through to the Odaw Canal and the State Housing Corporation were nearing completion.
Impact of rain
Assessing the impact of the rain on the project, Mr Diafo explained that the rainfall would have had negative impacts on the works, although it was factored into the planning.
Despite the rains, he said work was still progressing steadily since they had completed most of the foundation works, adding, “Almost 99 per cent of the foundation works have been completed”.
However, he said it was not advisable to construct road pavements during the rainy season, adding that construction of road pavements would stall for some time until the rain subsided.
“Work on the bridge too is still in progress; the foundation has been completed and beams installed for the construction of the decking,” he added.
The Odaw canal was constructed as part of measures to end the perennial flooding in parts of Accra.
However, authorities are battling with the dredging of the canal to enable free flow of water.
Meanwhile, traders and squatters along the banks of the Odaw river have turned the place into a dumpsite.