“There was no court order to that eviction order that was given that AMA must resettle [residents],” Dr Vanderpuije stressed.
This comes in the wake of agitations by some displaced residents and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that the Assembly needed to have a resettlement plan for residents of the area – popularly known as Sodom and Gomorrah – before carrying out the demolition exercise.
Reports suggested that the AMA had secured an 800-acre land at Adjen Kotoku in the Ga West District to resettle residents.
But explaining to Parliament’s sub-committee on Local Government on Wednesday, June 24, Dr Vanderpuije said that land was earmarked for only commercial activities from Sodom and Gomorrah, the country’s largest slum area.
“Government had taken a decision that all commercial activities must be relocated,” he told the lawmakers, pointing out that he was recently warned by the chiefs and people of Adjen Kotoku to transport only yam and timber to the area.
Already, government has made some funds available for residents willing to return to their hometowns.
The AMA boss explained that the demolition will not affect the original area allocated settlers of Old Fadama.
“I have always maintained in my discussions with [leaders of the area] that the Old Fadama, which was the land given to the first people from the north, we will not touch but the Korle Lagoon that is being occupied that one we will have to move everybody out of it.”
The demolition of illegal structures on the bank of the Lagoon began on Saturday but residents expressed anger at the Assembly’s action by marching to the State House.
Their march was characterised by vandalism of state property.