Encroachers on ECG lands in Okaikwei North Municipality urged to relocate

Over 100 structures dotted along the Golf hills and the Lapaz Community Hospital annex at Christian Village, a community in the Okaikwei North Municipal Assembly (ONMA) have been urged to relocate for their own safety.

Owners of churches, houses, salons, food joints and shops have encroached on government reserved lands for the  Electricity  Company of Ghana (ECG) as their structures are situated right under the high tension lines of the company.

The ultimatum given to owners of such structures has elapsed but they continue to plead with the assembly for more time while others are asking the assembly and the ECG to rescind their decision as they have nowhere to go.

During a tour by the assembly to sensitise the encroachers on the need to evacuate the area, the Ghanaians Times observed that some shops and houses have the high tension poles situated in them, with others located right behind or beside an ECG transformer.

 Speaking to the media, a preacher at the Church of Christ, Augustine Antwi Yeboah, said the church was given a notice last week to evacuate from its premises, a situation he described as “unfair”

“This is not a high tension line, but a power line, we have been at this place long before this power line was put up and if the ECG and the assembly have noticed that there is an encroachment, they have to engage us and not ask us to move from this place,” he said.

Mr Yeboah said in the notice given them, they were given five days to relocate adding that there was the need for engagement as some structures were not directly under the poles.

He said the church has been at its current location for the past 15 years and do not have a permit because “the assembly has asked us to live here as structures without permit.”

“We are also citizens, they should come and deal with us properly, they need not start an action that will trigger chaos, the lives and livelihood of people in this community hangs in a balance because of this notice,” he added.

The Special Assistant to the Municipal Chief Executive, Rexford Agyei Frimpong who led the sensitisation tours said there had been several warnings and notices for them to move from the place since 2019.

He said the latest and final removal notice that was served on them last two weeks and they were given a week to relocate.

He said the encroachers neither have permits for their structures nor the ECG power being used.

Mr  Frimpong said the assembly has arranged for a community engagement on Monday which will involve the  ECG, Chiefs, opinion leaders and members of the community  after which the illegal structures would be removed.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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