Ashanti regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah has asked city authorities across the country not to issue building permits to land owners who intend building in waterways.

According to him, the decision of land owners to build in waterways has resulted in perennial floods in most parts of the country, destroying several properties and lives.

Mr Osei-Mensah was speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Tuesday while touring areas affected by Monday’s heavy rains in Kumasi and other parts of the region.

He said: “The city authorities have a duty to ensure that people don’t build on waterways due to the effects that building on waterways have on everybody. You will realise that the assemblies have issued building permits to people to build on waterways, but that is worrying because these people threaten to sue the government whenever an attempt is made to pull down these buildings.

“I will appeal to all the assemblies across the country to be firm and refuse to issue permits to people who intend to build on waterways.

“When we do this I don’t think we will be talking about floods and their accompanying effects on the lives of people and their possessions.”

He added: “The land owners as well, we know people want to build because they need a place to sleep, but you shouldn’t build your house on waterways, it won’t help you because one day the floods will find their way through your building and bring it down. That can result in dire consequences.”