Dredging to control flooding in Ghana’s Accra region

Woman selling water in the dump of Agbogbloshie, with dredging taking place in the background. Credit: Shutterstock

Dredging plays a major role in saving Ghana’s greater Accra region from future floods and turning the Odaw River from a waste stream into a functioning river

Ghana’s greater Accra region has perennially suffered from heavy flooding during wet seasons, which has caused death, displacement of people, and destruction of property, a trend that the West African state’s government wants to reverse through a long-term dredging plan with the support of the Dutch government and the World Bank. The region is Ghana’s smallest administration and includes the capital city Accra.

Every year, an estimated 40,000 m3 of dredge material accumulates in the Odaw basin necessitating annual maintenance dredging to avert flooding of the Odaw Channel. The channel runs through the Accra metropolis and flows into the 243,292 m2 Korle Lagoon.

A destructive flood occurred in October 2011 when flash floods in the Accra region killed at least 14 people and affected another 43,000, with 17,000 losing their homes. Because of the sedimentation and a lack of flow, the river has also become heavily polluted and turned into an unhygienic stream of waste.

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