Recently the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has embarked upon demolition of some structures which were wrongly sited within the metropolis. It has brought about the threshold of public up roar. Varied questions have been asked to some seeming entities with the hope of an answer. But alas! None is forth coming.
The first in the series of flattening illegal structures in 2012 took place at Weija, a suburb of Accra. Arguably, Weija remains the source of pipe borne water for the metropolis. Yes, the dam accommodating the millions of gallons of water is exposed to constant pollution by encroachers around the buffer zone. This has resulted in the heighten levels of chemicals used to treat the water from the dam. Many a citizen has complained and compared the quality of pipe water from Weija with that of Akosombo. The low quality of water from the Weija dam has invariably informed the choice of pipe lines that many domestic homes do connect. Forthrightly, this came about due to the illegal structures which have sprung up in the reserved area. The filth generated within the safeguard territory trickles in to the water consistently. Unfortunate.
Again, the rail crossing at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle was the next to receive the crack of the whip of the AMA. It is precarious to reside by the rail lines which can be fatal in the case of any derailment. According to the Mayor of Accra, Mr. Alfred Vanderpuije this was in the zest of the public and country. Well done Sir.
It is always prudent to live a preventive life rather than a remedial one. There are planned and unplanned situations; hence prevention remains the best option of most civilised human communities. The various locations mentioned above were not built in a day. Sir, you will agree with me but, might not necessarily be on my side that, there have been some lapses on the part of the AMA, whether under your administration or the previous, which your attention should be drawn to receive keen supervision. The Accra Metropolitan Assembly has a Task Force who are remunerated monthly with the tax payers’ money. Besides, the rat race with traders on pavements within the metropolis, what else is their duty? Could they not take to constant supervision at various no go area to prevent structures from springing up?
Nonetheless, the metro boss and his cohort always abhor with their unpopular remedial outburst at varied locations of the capital. These Task Forces has arrogated themselves to the dishonourable irresponsibility of collecting money from the hard pressed traders on the pavements. It is of uttermost importance to assign to these seem to be working Task Forces, under whose guise mayhem thrives, the onus to patrol these reserved areas to protect them from encroachments. In other words to practice the wait and see character pays none, but tears. What is the preferred, wait till the fire starts or work to prevent it? The apt is the latter.
Currently the Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Edward Akaho is embroidered with the law for demolishing structures within the buffer zone around the commission’s facility, at Kwabenya in Accra. This was reported in the Daily Graphic of Tuesday, 24th January, 2012, number, 18749. The effects of an accident of the magnitude of an atomic facility could be recalled of the Russian nuclear accident some years ago. Every civilised human community thrives on preventive measures. It would be embarrassing should the country act like the proverbial bird on a fence whistling carelessly of being hunted till the stone blow that will kill it is dealt to it. Ghana needs to move to avert any untimely disaster. This is what has landed the Professor and 36 security men of the Commission in the grips of the Ghana Police. Who offered the lands so close to the facility for property development? One will be amazed to realise that there are
domestic homes which share common wall with a facility such as an atomic reactor. What are we waiting for? Is it, had I known, which is the philosophy of the careless?
In spite of the structures sited wrongly and illegally, questions should be put to the owners of these lands as to how they were acquired. The Lands Commission should equally be held corporal for land title issuance and registration. In the same vein, those who sat aloof till buildings and properties running into millions of Ghana Cedis to be destroyed, without resisting developers, should also be charged. This action taken will zip deep in to the immediate and remote future to serve as a deterrent. Despite the brute force used to reclaim these sensitive lands, the clearing of debris is an added cost in this exercise. Hence, who pays, for the reason that, if left till the rains come, it would either promote the festering of mosquitoes or bring about flooding.
Likewise the situation prevailing at Sodom and Gomorra, where the city authorities looked on without any preventive sense of duty up until the estuary was occupied by squatters. On several instances, attempts have been made to evict the squatters, but have always struck a blank wall. How long are we going to perpetuate this culture of irresponsibility towards serious life threatening conditions? These scenes are fairly spread throughout the country as if people at positions of trust to execute such duties are living dead.
The country will do herself a lot of good should we come to appreciate that the best way for us to live and not just to survive is through pro-activeness. To champion African excellence demands on the country to acquire the character of the wisdom of hind sight, thus future piercing. The human rights activist should be up in arms with the law on human settlement to challenge these authorities for negligence of duty, which culminate in the loss of properties and businesses of, would-be house owners and businessmen and women. The responsiveness of the state institutions should equally be questioned with some level of reprimand. For the reason that, these servants of the state who draw their salaries and emoluments from the consolidated fund, which is a pool of the tax payers’ money, cannot be pardoned to continue with such laxity.
Nevertheless, the citizens are also expected to make detailed enquiries about lands before acquiring it for development. When authorities issue a note of caution citizens are again, supposed to adhere and refrain from over ruling such restrains to help prevent later upheavals. Downrightly, some Ghanaians in their quest to acquire property end up purchasing sites or lands without conducting due diligence which consequently fits your guess. Because, the very destroyers of our society are the very people that society has educated and cared for.
Human Rights Advocates should demand from the authorities before or after demolitions those within the Town and Country Planning Department who gave the go ahead for construction to commence and the punitive measures which will be meted out to workers below excellence. This should be the battle instead of the call for human face to be tailored to force evictions. The flag is not meant to inspire Activist to violently interfere with anything in the by-laws of the Town and Country Planning that must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties and occupancy of our lands.
A Great philosopher has said that only between two and six per cent of the individuals in any given society work to INDUCE CHANGE and to transform the lives of the people. These are the people who see beyond the now and routine way of doing things. Their focus is societal transformation. Let as many as in our present society of Ghana associate themselves to the statement above.
In the case where citizens are unperturbed the city authorities should pick a cue from Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada’s belief that, if pupils don’t learn the way we teach, perhaps we should teach the way they learn.
Rolling the mat on this thorny issue let Huge White educate all concerned and has bone of contention with the admonition that, ?Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
By: Patrick Twumasi (0209045931)