The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has underscored the fact that Ghana will not need to look outside when it comes to dredging works.
Dredging activities in the country, he said, included dredging of dams, reservoirs, ports, harbours, land reclamation among others could be done effectively by local firms.
President Akufo-Addo made the observation while commissioning two new IHC Beaver 50 dredgers and marine equipment acquired to augment the fleet of DML at its parking yard at Adjei Kojo in Ashaiman, Accra on Wednesday.
According to him, Dredge Masters, a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), for instance, who have acquired the two new ultra-modern IHC Beaver 50 dredgers and marine equipment had made huge and significant contributions in the dredging space of this country, adding that the company’s introduction the ultra-modern dredgers “means that Ghana, within the West African market, had her own indigenous company which could dredge to a depth of 16 metres.
Dredging companies, he said, had traditionally contributed to coastal protection, stating that from 2017 and the government had invested an estimated GH¢450 million in various flood-control measures, all in an effort to end flooding in the capital city.
On the issue of climate change, the President admitted that it was already in Africa, noting that the citizenry was witnessing unprecedented floods in West Africa, depletion of large forests, vastly altered rain patterns that are threatening agriculture production and food security among others.
“All these are undermining Africa’s ability to grow and develop to bring prosperity to its people,” he said.
He tasked all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to ensure regular desilting of drains and gutters within their jurisdictions to allow for water to flow freely, especially when the country had entered the raining season.
He also urged MMDCEs to lead in the demolition of all unauthorised structures built along waterways saying, “Any MMDCE who fails to carry out this exercise across the country would be held accountable,” he sternly warned.
The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, in a brief remark, applauded DML’s contributions towards fighting flooding in Accra.
While admitting that flooding in Accra had become an annual ritual which continues to pose grave risks to lives and properties, he advised Ghanaians to desist from negative practices that further compound the phenomenon.
For his part, the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiama, announced a very strong collaboration with DML to develop the Volta Lake to inure to the benefit of the people of the region and the country as a whole.
In his welcome address, the Executive Chairman of the JGC, Dr Joseph SiawAgyepong, indicated that the IHC Beaver 50 is ultra-modern dredging equipment, which is a top of the range equipment for dredging in the world.
He said the two beavers had come to augment the already existing fleet of DML.
“Dredge Masters Limited is introducing these Ultra-Modern IHC Built Cutter Suction Dredgers 5014/16 (Named Akua Boahenmaa and Abena Ayinfua) and associated Marine equipment which bring the capability of dredging up to 16 meters deep and the capacity to carry out large scale reclamation.”
The total investment by the company in all marine equipment stands at 54 million Euros,” he revealed.
According to Dr Siaw Agyepong, Dredge Masters Limited started with the acquisition of four ultra-modern amphibious dredgers from Aquamec.
“These dredgers along with long boom excavators, barges and earth moving equipment dredged from Odaw Channel to the Korle lagoon (from Caprice to the sea) to restore hydrological capacity of the channel. The fleet has been augmented with two more amphibious dredgers, long booms and other equipment over the years. Today, we have over 70 units of various dredging equipment,” he further disclosed.