Encroachment of Ridge School lands a worrying situation – Associations express

High School
High School

The Sunyani for Development Association (SFDA) and the Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA) have expressed worry about encroachment of Ridge Experimental School lands in the Sunyani Municipality.

They have therefore appealed to the Lands Commission and the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority to revoke all leases and building permits around the school area.

The two associations further pleaded with the Sunyani Municipal Assembly to protect the school’s lands for future use.

A joint statement issued and signed by Mr Atta Akoto Senior and Dr. Vida Korang, the President and Secretary of the of the SYDA and SFDA respectively explained the Sunyani Traditional Council released the land to the school in the 1960s.

“The attention of the Associations had been drawn on encroachments of the school’s lands by estate and private developers and we can’t sit unconcern for them to take-over the lands of the school which has produced scholars of dignity”, a copy of the statement made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani indicated.

“The Sunyani Municipal Assembly claims the land space around the Ridge School has been rezoned, leading to the school losing part of its land, which is now being encroached on by an individual,” it added.

It explained “we have subsequently held engagements with relevant stakeholders including the Ridge School Management Committee (SMC), the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the Alumni Representatives and the Sunyani Traditional Council to stop the encroachment”.

The statement expressed worry that despite the extensive engagements, estate developers were bent on developing parts of the lands by depositing construction materials including large quantities of sand and moulding concrete blocks.

“In fact the claim by the Municipal Assembly does not only deny the school the needed land space required for expansion and development, but also robs the good people of Sunyani of future educational opportunities that will result from inadequate land for educational infrastructure”, it said

“We therefore find the action of the SMA very strange, paradoxical, counter-productive and dysfunctional, that a Municipal Assembly which has the development of education as a core mandate will rather take away public school land and allow individuals to develop it”.

The statement indicated that some of the estate and individual developers had threatened authorities of the school to stay off the lands or face their anger.

It said Sunyani was experiencing high urbanization growth which required adequate land space for the provision of social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, Police Stations and recreational grounds.

“Land space remained a huge challenge for effective implementation of laudable government initiatives such as the Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) as well as Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Science Resource Centres and Public Libraries”, it explained.

“Regrettably, Sunyani is unimaginably fast losing its public lands reserved for common good to private individuals in ways that are inimical to the socio-economic development of the city, to the extent that it is very difficult to find space for emerging government projects”, it added.

“We the progressive forces of development will without fear or favour and within the laws of Ghana, fiercely resist any such unpatriotic and retrogressive action. We are resolute on this matter, and that no influence, political or otherwise shall prevail against our determination in protecting the Ridge School land from any encroachment and takeover”, the statement asserted.

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