Demolition Begins On Ramsar Sites

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Tema West Municipal Assembly yesterday began the demolition of illegal structures within the Sakumono Ramsar Site.

The three-day exercise began with the demolition of fence walls in some core areas within the site, which serve as route for rainwater as it heads for the sea.

The exercise, which started at about 7:30am, was supervised by a joint security task force comprising the Military and the Ghana Immigration Service.

Personnel from the National Ambulance Service and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were also present to offer assistance to the team deployed for the exercise.

Scores of illegal occupants on the land, especially caretakers, looked on helplessly as the demolition exercise was carried out by the task force.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, said the exercise is aimed at removing buildings and structures erected on waterways, and to protect government acquired lands rather than victimising any individual as may be speculated by the public.

He stated that the exercise was also in line with the President’s directive months ago for all buildings located on waterways to be removed.

The minister said 2,500 out of about 18,000 plots of government acquired land by an Executive Instrument have been encroached upon.

He described the situation as alarming considering the level of impunity with which people continue to build on such lands despite several cautions to them about the consequences of their action.

“You recall an incident that took place at Weija where houses were virtually submerged in water. It is said that prevention is better than cure, and this exercise is not in any way going to victimise anybody. The exercise is to target fence walls that have been erected in core areas that is water area,” he said.

The minister further cautioned, “When it rains, the water finds its way from Aburi, Dzorwulu and Alajo. Imagine what will happen in the next two to three years. Already, Ashaiman is becoming a problem, and I am afraid that if we don’t do anything about it, in the next two to three years all these areas will be flooded. We are hoping residents in these areas will cooperate with us,” he added.

He mentioned that the demolition exercise would be done in three phases starting with the demolition of the fence walls in the core areas at the site to be followed by an assessment by the agencies under the Ministry of Lands such as the Forestry Commission to help determine the buildings sited on water ways, which will be pulled down during the last phase.

He also assured residents that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources will ensure that due processes were followed to regularise properties of encroachers on the land after the completion of the entire exercise.

The MCE for Tema West Municipal Assembly, Anna Naa Adukwei Addo, was also present during the demolition apart from the NPP chairman for the constituency, Akwasi Poku.

Source: DGN


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