The Ghanaian government has received an additional $150 million from the World Bank to enhance its flood and waste management systems for more than 2.5 million residents in the Greater Accra Region’s Odaw River Basin.
According to a press release by the World Bank, the region contributes over 40 percent of the country’s non-oil GDP and is exposed to increased flood hazards that could hamper its economic and social growth potential. The Bank noted that urban flooding has become more common and severe due to rapid urbanization and encroachment of flood-prone areas, insufficient and poorly maintained drainage infrastructure, and accumulation of solid waste along watercourses.
The World Bank financing is for the improvement of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, which was designed to address these challenges after the devastating flood event of June 3, 2015, that affected 53,000 people and caused major damage and losses in various sectors amounting to $55 million, with an estimated $105 million reconstruction cost.
“The World Bank is pleased to support Ghana in these times of macroeconomic difficulties and to help achieve a holistic flood management approach through this additional financing of GARID. This is crucial to attaining the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, as well as increasing the resilience of African cities,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
“This additional support fills a financing gap resulting from the triggering of the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the inclusion of resettlement compensation for approximately 2,800 project affected persons. It also addresses cost overruns for major infrastructure investments due to inflation and engineering requirements.”
The project will continue to prioritize investments that enhance resilience to flood risks and improve solid waste management systems in targeted communities of the Odaw River Basin area. It will provide additional resources to continue financing the structural measures to increase the detention capacity for flood mitigation in the basin area. It will also provide targeted interventions in the low-lying areas of the basin and upstream interventions related to the management of municipal solid waste.
The GARID project, through investments supported under the Climate Resilient Drainage and Flood Mitigation Measures component, will also provide significant climate change adaptation benefits. The interventions will improve drainage infrastructure, establish an early warning system, and promote better solid waste management in flood-prone, low-income communities.
“The planned flood mitigation infrastructure investments under GARID will directly reduce the flooding risks for urbanizing and economically productive areas of the Greater Accra Region, limiting the direct flood hazards on more than 138,000 people” said Catherine Lynch, Senior Urban Specialist and Task Team Leader for GARID project.