2000 Illegal Structures To Go Down At Weija
2000 Illegal Structures To Go Down At Weija Website
A combined team of officials from the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), National Security and the Ga West District Assembly Monday marked about 2,000 structures illegally sited in the Weija Dam area for demolition. Although the actual day on which the demolition will begin was not disclosed, the leader of the team told the Daily Graphic that all illegal structures and those up on public lands would be removed before the end of this week. The squad which did the marking and recce was backed by well armed policemen, who took positions at the Weija Dam site at bout 8.00 a.m. The team divided into three groups, moved from one building to another and marked them with red paint, attracting some of the occupants of the buildings and curious passers-by to come out and enquire about what was happening. When they were told that their buildings were going to be demolished, some of the squatters protested that they had not been served with any notice and claimed that they had acquired the lands from the chief of Weija. One of the affected property owners, Raphael Tetteh, said he acquired the land as far back as 1985 and moved in after he had completed his building in the 1990s. He said nobody had come to tell him that his building was sited at the wrong place. Mr Fred Kwadwo Ayebeng, who was also at the site to supervise work on parcels of land he acquired for his son, his daughter and his wife, was visibly worried when he was told that the property would be pulled down. He said he acquired the first plot for his daughter in 1999, another for his son in 2003 and another one for his wife also around the same period, all from the children of the late chief of Weija. He said since then work on the land had been going on smoothly until yesterday when he saw the team of policemen at the project area. Mr Cephas Norgbedzi said he had been living peacefully in the area with his family for some years now and that nobody had come there to lay claim to the land. He said it was a surprise for him to hear that the GWCL was claiming the land. He said whatever the situation, it was important for the GWCL to sit with them to negotiate, instead of bringing security men to the area to demolish their property. The Chief Manager of the GWCL, Mr Michael Agyemang, denied the claim by the residents and said adequate notice had been served them but they refused to listen. He said the GWCL started a sensitisation programme for the encroachers as far back as 1990 when it came to its attention that some people were putting up structures there. Mr Agyemang said the sensitisation programme was intensified in 2001 when Mr Kwamena Bartels was the sector Minister. He said Mr Bartels took it upon himself to meet with the chiefs and opinion leaders in the area and told them that the land belonged to the government and that it was also not appropriate for them to build near the dam site because of the chemicals used in the treatment of the water. He said despite those warnings, the people continued to encroach on the land, with the number increasing by the day. Mr Agyemang said it was the responsibility of each prospective land buyer to check with the Lands Commission to identify the rightful owner of the land before making payment. He said if the encroachers had done due diligence, they would have realised that the land belonged to the government and was earmarked for the GWCL. He said apart from that, the squatters had also destroyed the pillars that the GWCL used in demarcating the land. Mr Agyemang challenged the people to produce documents to show that the land belonged to them.
Source: Daily Graphic