By Cecil MENSAH
Some officials of the World Bank in Accra are pushing for the implementation of a drainage tax to cater for construction of drainages to ease flooding in the country.
According to World Bank officials, the Ghana government can introduce the tax and take it monthly or yearly at source for the construction of massive drainage systems.
The World Bank group is working to end poverty and promote prosperity in a sustainable way by fashioning measures to achieve this goal.
These proposals have come up following a tour of some flood-prone areas of the Accra Metropolis by a World Bank working committee for risk and management of flood-prone areas of the Greater Accra Region and the Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development and, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface.
According to team, the drainage tax can directly be taken from property owners, hotel owners, persons living in low land areas of the region to construct storm drains to prevent flooding.
Additionally, the team suggests that such tax can be used for the disposal of waste water in cities.
The team draws inspiration from the Netherlands. When the tax was first introduced in the European country, people did not understand it but today it is doing a marvellous job because the country is giving early warning signals for flood prevention.
Every year in the Netherlands, people have to pay two water taxes, depending on their property. There is a water board tax which contributes to regional water system management, such as maintenance of dykes and control of water levels. In addition, there is a pollution levy for properties not connected to the sewage network, and a water purification levy, contributing to purification processes used for waste water, for all properties connected to the sewage network.
The method of payment varies from municipality to municipality in the country.
The team’s tour took it to the offices of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Ghana Metrological Agency (GMA) to ascertain the levels of preparedness of the two institutions in giving early warning signals in the Greater Accra Region.
The group further visited some of the areas hardest hit by floods in Accra such as Dome, Madina, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Sahara, and Pantang to find measures for alleviating the plight of persons living in these areas.