The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has given a 48-hour ultimatum to squatters who have settled along the shoulders of the Avenor to Adabraka section of the Odaw storm drain, to vacate or face forceful eviction.
The ultimatum was given by the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, on Wednesday, when he led a joint ‘Operation COVID Safety’ and Sanitation Taskforce, comprising officers from some Assemblies in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) notably Korle Klottey and Okaikwei North Municipal Assemblies, Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and Zoomlion Ghana Limited to inspect ongoing dredging of the river.
The Mayor who was accompanied by the Municipal Chief Executives for Korle Klottey; Nii Adjei Tawiah and Okaikwei North; Nii Boye Laryea explained that as part of efforts to prevent flooding and rid the city of filth the Odaw River and Korle Lagoon was being dredged for the next two years but the structures close to the banks of the river made it difficult for the heavy-duty equipment to navigate and dredge hence the notice for them to vacate.
"This is done every year and they are fully aware of it, so we came here to remind them to remove the structures within 48 hours to pave way for the dredging or face forceful eviction... The banks of the river serve as one, a pathway for the heavy-duty equipment to navigate and then as a buffer zone to accommodate runoff water anytime the river overflows its banks, " he said.
He noted that right from the Avenor bridge up to the Graphic Road section of the river, residents and squatters living alongside the shoulders of the channel dump all manner of solid waste into the drain.
"We are also enforcing our sanitation by-laws and the wearing of nose masks so we go round the city and compel people to clean when we see any filth or issue summons, " he intimated.
The Odaw River, which runs through the Accra metropolis, flows from the Abokobi and Adjankote hills through Ashongman, Atomic Energy area, West Legon, Achimota, Alajo, Avenor, Agbogbloshie and finally into the Atlantic Ocean through the Korle Lagoon.