Housing Minister to take action against developers destroying river basins

The Ministry of Works and Housing says it will take swift action against real estate developers destroying a number of river basins in the national capital, Accra. There are nine river basins in Accra which have either been choked or encroached upon. The Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Attah Akyea said he will take up the issue with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and where necessary structures along the basins will be demolished. The nine river basins in Accra including the lafa, ramser basin, river densu, kpeshie, songhor and norkpe basins. The ramser basin in particular, located at Otojor, a community behind the Mallam market has been encroached on by private developers. TV3  reported on the activities of the developers in March, but when TV3 visited the site on Friday 20th April work was still going on at the place. Persistent calls from residents for the developers to stop work have gone unheeded as private developers continue to fill the basin with sand. Meanwhile, Samuel Atta Akyea told TV3 while touring some of the basins that swift action will be taken to save the basins. “Where did they secure their building permit from, then we should take quality steps to deal with. This is the kind of defiance that we shouldn’t encourage that you don’t have a permit and you are going to create a permanent problem for Accra”. The minister continued “This is a matter I will take up with the mayor and then he deals with it and you know what that means?  The bulldozers.” The head of drainage at the Hydrological Services Department Seth Kudzordie explained: “Together with part of the densu outfall is a conservation area and no  development is supposed to take place in it. It’s a holding area.” “The ground place is below sea level and so we need to have that place so that during flooding it can contain and hold the water, detain the water for a while so that when the sea level goes down it can flow into the sea and so if the area is developed we can have very serious problem.” Meanwhile, Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, an NGO  has threatened a court action if government fails to halt activities of the developers. “So I have been talking about this problem since 89, so nobody has ears to hear? Those people work for government, Lands Commission, Wildlife, the AMA, the assembly what are they doing? Why should we pay them?The problem is not the people doing it alone the problem is with the people who should enforce the law,” President of the NGO, Nana Dwomoh Sarpong said. “We plan to take action against the assembly not the individual. Because when you don’t enforce the law, you are the one we should issue order of mandamus to compel you to enforce the law.” Already, the Engineering Council of Ghana has issued a stern warning to government to prevent the basin from being taken over.

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By Richard Bright Addo | 3news.com]]>