All Illegal Structures Must Go Down

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has, since the June 3 disaster that claimed over 150 lives, embarked on the demolition of illegal structures on waterways in the metropolis.

So far, illegal structures at Old Fadama (Sodom and Gomorrah), Adabraka Sahara, Adedenkpo, Neoplan Station and Avenor have been mauled down to clear the path for major drains to flow freely.

The demolition exercise received some resistance initially from residents of Old Fadama, but appears to have gone on without any hiccups in the other parts of the city.

The exercise even though necessary, has displaced many people and cost the AMA millions of Ghana cedis.

While the Times sympathises with all those who might be affected by the demolition exercise, we want to commend the AMA for the sustainance of the exercise and the determination to complete it.

The exercise, which is the biggest to have been undertaken by the AMA in recent times, is expected to clear the waterways to allow the free flow of the Korle Lagoon and the Odaw river into the sea.

The activities of people living in illegal structures on the waterways, have been identified as the major source of pollution and silting of these two water bodies in the middle of the city.

Several efforts in the past to clear the illegal structures and desilt the drains were met with resistance and sometimes violent demonstrations.

On other occasions, it had ended up in the courts. It is gratifying that the current exercise has gone on relatively peacefully and with some demonstrable achievements.

It is our hope that both the Korle Lagoon and the Odaw river as well as other major drains that flow into them, would be desilted to allow for their free flow into the sea.

While at it, we would urge the AMA to ensure that no one would be allowed to encroach illegally on any space in the metropolis. From now and into the future, the AMA should police the entire city and make sure that never again are people allowed to encroach on waterways.

The human cost, time and resources wasted on the demolition exercise could have been channeled into other developmental activities in the city.

The consequences of the illegal constructions on waterways and the flagrant disregard for law and order are too costly for the nation.

The annual floods and their attendant loss of lives cannot be allowed to continue. The current exercise should mark the turning point and a move into a newer phase of development for all city dwellers.

We can no longer live in a city that faces perennial flooding that kill innocent people.

This is the time for all city dwellers to support the AMA to right the wrongs that we have all contributed to, over the years. AMA must pull down all illegal structures now!

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