Works and Housing Minister Francis Asenso-Boakye has given the assurance that government has commenced steps to implement the second phase of the construction of coastal protection works along some communities within the Ketu South constituency against tidal waves.
The Minister at a press briefing yesterday said the Ministry had finalized the evaluation of the relevant proposal to start works under the second phase of the project.
Over the weekend, the people of Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region were displaced when tidal waves from the sea swept through their homes and destroyed various property.
“I must reiterate that Government acknowledges the urgent need to permanently address the devastating effects of tidal waves in the affected towns of Agavedzi, Salakope, and Amutsinu communities in the Ketu South constituency.
“These communities are on the same coastal stretch as Blekusu, also in the Ketu South constituency. This coastal stretch is characterized by narrow beaches and the effects of tidal waves along the coastal stretch can be very devastating, and consequently result in beach erosion, loss of land, property and sometimes extensive flooding in the event of wave overtopping. The erosion of the beaches also impacts negatively on fishing, which is the main source of livelihood of the communities along this coastal stretch,” he said.
Scope of work
The Minister stated that as part of measures to curb the devastating incidents in these towns, in July 2015, the Ministry of Works and Housing engaged Messrs Amandi Holding Limited to design and construct coastal protection works along the stretch, starting from Blekusu, and working towards Agavedzi, Salakope, and Amutsinu under the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project.
“The project, which protects 4300 metres (i.e., 4.3 kilometres) of the coastal stretch, had the first phase completed in July 2019, and has since functioned effectively, protecting lives, livelihoods and properties while reviving fishing activities,” he said.
He added that in April 2021, a technical team from the Hydrological Services Department of the Ministry travelled to the affected communities to engage the Municipal Chief Executive of Ketu South and some community leaders on the matter of the implementation of the second phase of the project.
“I have also had the opportunity to visit these communities, together with the technical team from the Ministry and the Hydrological Services Department, in June this year, to have a first-hand understanding of the situation,” he added.
Completion of second phase
Mr Asenso-Boakye disclosed that the completion of the works envisaged under the second phase of the project will cover a minimum coastal stretch of 8,000 metres (8 kilometres), and this will ensure the total protection of the people of Agavedzi, Salakope, and Amutsinu communities and other affected communities within the constituency that continue to bear the brunt of this occasional disasters.
“The scope of works under the second phrase of Blekusu Coastal Protection Project (Phase 2) entails the construction of 37 armour rock groynes, with land reclamation, to protect eight (8) kilometres of coastal stretch,” he added.
He also stated that the Ministry is currently engaging the Ministry of Finance to raise the needed funding for the implementation of the second phase.
“It is important to note that value addition is critical in ensuring that a platform for recouping the capital investment is provided. Thus, in addition to protecting lives and properties, the works under the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project (Phase 2) will protect the beaches and its environs against encroachment by the sea, arrest the current environmental deterioration, mitigate the social and economic consequences of beach erosion, and strengthen the economic and production base of the area through enhanced fishing activities,” he said.
He appealed to the residents of these communities that while Government makes all the necessary efforts to avert these unfortunate perennial occurrences, they should avoid any practices that expose them to vagaries of the rising sea levels.