The council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has called on the government to halt the construction of the 25,000 affordable housing units by the Ministry of Works and Housing, at Pokuase in the Ga West Municipal Assembly.
According to the Council, the land (CSIR Pokuase Land) has been used for various research work for more than 50 years to enhance the socio-economic development of the country.
The Union Chairman of CSIR, Mr Michael Amoo-Gyasi, made the call when he briefed the media in Accra yesterday.
He said under the pretext of constructing 25,000 units of affordable housing by the Ministry of Works and Housing, some unknown faces including government’ appointees have entered into the CSIR lands and all attempts to prevent their illegal activities proved futile.
He said important research materials, and plants had been destroyed and workers who visited the land were also brutalised.
“This wanton destruction and indiscriminate encroachment on the CSIR Pokuase land is serious, several workers who visited the land to perform their legitimate duties were injured and brutalized by land guards stationed on site by some powerful people,” he said.
Mr Amoo-Gyasi said the lands were being used for the conservation of the N‘dama cattle which had the tolerant gene against the trypanosomiasis disease plaguing cattle in the tropics (Africa).
He said the land had the only sub-station that hosts pasture museum in Ghana and being used in collaboration with the Global Research Alliance for the study of carbon sequestration under cultivated pasture.
The Union Chairman said the fields also provided planting materials for the National Committee on Cattle Ranching set up by the President to find solution to the cattle herders‘crop farmer conflicts plaguing the West Africa sub-region.
“The station is currently the only station in Ghana that produces the multi-nutrient, ‘ feed block using pasture material in addressing the perennial dry season feeding that results in the cattle herder-farmer conflict,” he explained
Mr Amoo-Gyasi said “The Pokuase station hosts not only the Animal Research institute but also the Crops Research Institute and the Food Research Institutes which in diverse ways have contributed to the development of agriculture and food security in the country,”
He appealed for a timely intervention by various stakeholders to save the CSIR lands, the research centres and their facilities.
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG.