Danger looms at Sofokrom!… laterite excavation causing fear

Excavation of laterite by a private contractor on the hill at Sofokrom, a suburb opposite WAPCO Filling Station at SECKO junction, on the Takoradi-Accra highway, is causing growing concerns among residents.

There are fears that the Sofokrom neighbourhood faces a high risk of a major landslide, anytime there is heavy rains in the area.

Over the last three years, the  residents had complained that the excavation of laterite had continued till today, and that, a house on Plot Number 118, Sofokrom,  Sekondi, for example, would  soon collapse, if the situation was not immediately halted  by the Shama District Assembly.

Meanwhile, independent  geoscientists  who spoke to the Ghanaian Times, had also appealed to Shama Assembly to remedy the situation, warning that “ if the excavation continued about 30  feet towards the house,  it  will  in no time collapse, especially during a  heavy down pour.”

“If the Shama District Assembly do not act immediately  to stop the excavations of laterite at Sofokrom, occupants of the immediate house would sooner or later experience landslide with even the slightest  rainfall because the soil is soft, soggy,  liable to cleavages and can easily collapse,” they stressed.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the site on Saturday, it was clear that occupants of the said house faced a dire situation as excavators were still on site, an indication that the winning of laterite at site was ongoing.

Besides, another estate developer, in the attempt to build a fence wall around his house, had also collapsed the walls at the frontage of Plot Number 118.

“We are, indeed, in a worrying and dire situation and we plead that the Shama Assembly acts immediately to salvage what experts say would be a catastrophe in future,”   worried Uncle Mensah, a resident, pleaded.

Residents claimed that apart from that house, about 18 households including School for The Deaf, were also threatened by the excavation of laterite in the area.

They reported that, the clay winner, apart from posing a danger to the area, had also damaged their access road from the WAPCO area at SEKCO junction, while using heavy trucks to haul the materials to other sites.

Culverts along that stretch of road, had also been blocked with rain water finding its way into the muddy areas, and making it impassable for vehicles in the neighbourhood to use.

As a result, some residents are compelled to park their cars at WAPCO filling station during heavy rains.

“Another challenge is that because of the blockade of the access road, students at the SEKCO hostel also find it difficult to attend classes and had to use detours long enough to waste time and energy,” Joe Asante, another resident, added.

He said the fence wall at the western end of School for the Deaf, close to the excavated area, also collapsed during the recent heavy rains in June.

FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SOFOKROM

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