Squatters vacate transformer station

•    The squatters have moved from the ECG sub-station at Kokomlemle.

• The squatters have moved from the ECG sub-station at Kokomlemle.

The squatters, who were occupying the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) transformer station at Kokomlemle West in Accra, have vacated the place following the publication in yesterday’s issue of The Ghanaian Times.

A visit by this reporter to the place revealed that the occupants had parked all their belongings except the heap of firewood which was yet to be cleared.

An eyewitness, Madam Kande Amande, told The Ghanaian Times that following the publication, some colleagues of theirs came to the place and hinted them of their possible ejection and told them that it was important for them to relocate before the city authorities forced them out of the place.

“Quickly, I had to buy padlock to lock the main entrance of the gate to avoid them occupying the place again,” he said.

Madam Amande said she would also ensure that those who parked the firewood there, clear the heap to avoid fire gutting them.

The paper reported yesterday that some of the victims affected by the demolition exercise by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) have taken refuge at the transformer station.

The transformer station is situated at Kokomlemle West near the Methodist Church, Bethel Society, and closer to the Adehyeman Savings and Loans Company, few meters away from Joy FM.

Though ECG had fenced the place with a wall and security mesh, the squatters have managed to open and parked their belongings including firewood there.

The Ghanaian Times investigations revealed that apart from sleeping, washing and bathing at the place, the occupants also cooked there, using the firewood despite the risk involved.

Another worrying aspect was that though three metallic gates to the transformer have been locked with padlocks, the occupants had managed to open one of the gates and using the place as their wardrobe.

A tour of the place revealed lots of personal belongings including clothes, mats, pillows, mirror, ladies wear including hairpieces (wigs), cosmetics, pomade and combs, among others.

Also discovered were exposed underground live cables possibly due to erosion and the constant sweeping of the place, by the occupants.

Other findings were that the squatters mainly females, used the place, both inside the transformer and the rear as brothel for night services, that is, for commercial sex. A closer observation at the back of the transformer, revealed lots of mats and carton boxes cut in the form of students mattresses spread all over for commercial sex.

One of the ladies who gave her name only as Alima, claimed she, together with other colleagues, decided to stay there temporarily as they looked for a permanent place to move.

Isha Ibrahim, a trader told this reporter in an interview that she tried several times to evict the occupants, mainly ice (pure) water sellers but to no avail.

According to her, she warned them of the dangers involved in their lodging there, but they did not listen to her advice noting that she even locked the place with padlocks several times but the locks were broken by the squatters to enable them to get access to the place.

“They sleep here, wake up early in the morning to ply their trade and get back to the place in the evenings,” she said.

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour  

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