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Ablekuma West Assembly demolishes illegal structures

The Ablekuma West Municipal Assembly (AWMA) yesterday demolished some illegal structures on waterways and shoulders of some roads in the municipality.

More than 50 structures including metal containers, kiosks, fast food joints, hair-dressing salons, drinking bars and residence were pulled down at areas such as Dansoman Exhibition, Control Bus Stop, Shiabu and along the banks of the Chemu lagoon.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the scene, some squatters were salvaging their belongings and conveying them into vehicles probably to other locations.

People also gathered at the affected areas discussing the issue, amidst heavy police presence detailed to maintain law and order.

Some of the affected people (who do not want to be named) alleged that the assembly has being collecting money from them as permit levy.

According to them, the assembly did not give them ample time to leave the areas.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the AWMA, Mr George Cyril Bray told the Ghanaian Times that the assembly gave the people a two-month notice to vacate the places before the demolition.

 He said the demolition of the illegal structures was to ensure people do not trespass to cause flooding, because some of them were built on waterways.

Mr Bray said at Exhibition Bus Stop, shops and containers had also been erected close to the area, thus forcing passengers to board vehicles on the roads and posing danger to their lives.

According to him, most of the people who erected their structures along the Chemu lagoon dumped refuse into major drains, hence causing flooding anytime it rains.

The MCE added that there was therefore the need to destroy the illegal structures and distil the drains to ensure the free flow of water.

He denied allegations that the assembly took money from the squatters as permit, saying that even though AWMA took daily levy from them for trading in the area, that did not amount permit.

Mr Bray said the exercise would be ongoing to ensure that there was discipline in the municipality.

He urged residents to collaborate with the assembly to ensure that illegal structures were not allowed in their vicinities.

The MCE said the assembly did not take delight in destroying people’s property, adding that people should desist from encroaching on lands.

“Residents should endeavour to heed to the advice of the assembly to relocate their illegal structures”, adding that “the assembly would not sit aloof and look on for such things to happen”.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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