The Lands Commission yesterday commenced a demolition exercise at Mempeasem, near East Legon in Accra to clear off encroachers on some state-acquired and vested land in the area.
The exercise was undertaken by a taskforce including officials of the Lands Commission and personnel of the Ghana Police Service.
Earthmoving equipment were, earlier in the morning, seen collapsing and breaking down both completed and uncompleted structures sited on the encroached land.
In all, about 13 structures had been razed down as at 2:00p.m.
The taskforce is working to recover encroached portions of the 111.35 acres of land at Mempeasem which was acquired for the Accra Training College Instrument, 2009 (E. I. 16).
Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, James Dadson, who is leading the exercise, said, the demolition had become necessary due to the increasing rate of encroachment on state and vested lands, especially in Accra.
He stated that although, the government had released some parcels of lands to the pre-acquisition owners, some recalcitrant persons were fully encroaching on the state-acquired and vested lands.
The exercise, he said, would be extended to Nungua, where portions of the 2,570.05 acres acquired in 1940 for livestock farming had been taken over by encroachers.
Mr Dadson noted that the taskforce would also undertake demolition at Kweiman-Amrahia in the Adentan Municipality where portions of the 1,381.995 acres acquired by the state for Modern Diary Farm had been encroached upon.
“The rate of encroachment requires that the Commission undertakes this extensive demolition to recover and protect all the encroached portions including demolishing of unauthorised structures,” he stated.
Earlier, the Commission, in a statement issued on January 16 this year in Accra, said it had received a number of reports with contestation, of encroachments on state lands within Amrahia, Mempeasem and Nungua (Borteyman) in Accra by unknown armed men.
It said the illegality started during the festive season in December 2022 and continued to occur adding that “the parcels under threat are parts of government acquisitions with compensations paid.”
In almost all the acquisitions, the statement noted that the government partly released to the pre-acquisition owners some portions of the lands based on goodwill.
“Following a reconnaissance inspection of sites in Borteyman, Amrahia and Mempeasem, the joint team of lands administrators and police officers agreed on the urgency of a more extensive exercise to recover and protect all the encroached portions including demolishing of unauthorised structures,” the statement added.
The Commission, it said, under section 236 of the Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036), had engaged a private agent with the assistance of the Ghana Police Service to recover and protect such sites and in doing so, would be undertaking the demolition exercise to realise the stated objective.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS