Illegal structures on Tema Ramsar Site to be demolished

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission (FC) has stated that developers who have illegally built on the Ramsar site at Sakumono in the Tema West Municipal Assembly beyond the ‘green line’ will have their property demolished soon.

This will ensure that the site, which is a World Heritage Monument, is restored to its useful usage.

He hinted this on Monday when he inspected the extent of encroachment on the site, which also is the Forestry Commission’s ecological site.

Mr Afriyie was accompanied by some management and Board members of the Commission, security personnel from the Police Service and the Military as well as the Chief Executive of the Tema West Municipal Assembly (TWMA), Mrs Adwoa Amoako.

Also in the entourage were the chiefs from the traditional area, some of whom were alleged to be involved in the sale of the land at the site.

 

Debriefing the media, Mr Afriyie bemoaned the extent of encroachment on the site and appealed to the chiefs to help stop sale of land, since it was an agreed green line boundary.

He said a decision would be taken after the visit but assured that those who have already encroached beyond the green line would have their structures demolished.

He indicated that his visit was the first of its kind since assuming office and it was to study the extent of encroachment on the site.

He further cautioned prospective buyers to desist from purchasing the land from the chiefs because the Commission would not allow them to develop it.

According to him, he had already met the chiefs and discussed the problem of encroachment on the site and both have agreed on a common boundary to stop further encroachment to save the ecology.

He cautioned that no encroachment would be entertained, reiterating that a modality would be worked out with the chiefs and developers for the satisfaction of all parties adding that there was the need to change the old way of approach to resolving land issues with chiefs and developers who encroach on government lands.

Mr David Guba Kpelle, Technical Advisor at the Commission, said about 620 acres of lands out of the total land size of 13,620 hectares have been encroached upon.

He said the site would be developed into ecotourism infrastructural facility comprising of eco-lodge, restaurant, eco-medics centre with specialised personnel.

He added that these facilities among others when completed would create employment for the youth in the community.

The chiefs led by Nii Bortey Kran, chief of Klagon assured the Commission that they would do their best to protect the land.

Seth Adu Agyei

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