Klagon Ramsar site ‘Berlin wall’ goes down

The Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGSEC) yesterday demolished illegal fence walls on the Ramsar site at Klagon near Tema-Sakumono.

The phase one of the exercise which started around 7:40a.m. involved the demolition of only fence walls that had been built in core areas of the water way by three bulldozers under the supervision of joint military, police and immigration officials numbering about 400.

The Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, said his outfit would earmark specific buildings for demolition based on a report from experts in the next phases.

“After the first phase of the exercise, a critical assessment would be conducted by the Forestry Commission to identify buildings that were still sited in the way and mark them for demolition.”

According to him, the exercise was to help avert any possible flooding in the Tema area similar to that witnessed by some residents in the Weija area recently.

It also targeted the preservation of all government lands which had been encroached upon with the latest being the Ramsar site which had lost about 2,500 acres out of about 3, 500 acres of land to encroachers, he stated.

Mr Quartey emphasised that, the three-day exercise had been designed to not affect residents who had legitimately acquired lands in or close to the area and that the focus was on structures identified to be sited in the water way.

Parts of the motorway and East Legon were gradually becoming flood prone areas as a result of the mass encroachment on the Ramsar site which could no longer hold thousands of gallons of water each year as it used to prevent flooding in surrounding communities.

Mr Quartey believed that if efforts were not made to protect the site, flooding would be imminent and unavoidable in the coming years and thus, entreated residents to cooperate with the directive.

“The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and his team are also putting in measures to ensure that those who had already encroached on the land would go through proper processes to ensure that their properties are regularised,” he said.

The three-day demolition exercise is set to be over on Friday, October 21.

Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance for migratory animal life especially birds under the Ramsar Convention.


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