A number of structures sited on the Kpeshie Lagoon in Accra were yesterday demolished as part of an exercise to reclaim encroached portions of the land.
The structures, including containers modified into offices and workshops as well as wooden pubs were all pulled down by a taskforce led by the Ayawaso North Municipal Chief Executive, Mohammed Aminu Zakaria.
The taskforce comprised of personnel from the La-Dadekotopon, Ledzokuku, Tema West and Ayawaso West Municipal Assemblies.
The exercise which spanned about 500 metres on either side of the Bush Road- Rasta stretch resulted in huge quantities of debris, which according to the taskforce would be moved to a designated location.
A “chop bar” operating on the land was compelled to suspend the day’s activities as the earthmoving equipment moved in to collapse the hut erected for customers.
The police were on hand to ensure the exercise was undertaken smoothly and were seen calming tempers and quelling disagreements between affected persons and members of the taskforce.
One person who attempted to disrupt the exercise was arrested and taken to police custody.
As at the time the Ghanaian Times was leaving the scene, more than five containers had been destroyed while others were being moved to different locations by the owners.
In an interview, Mr Zakaria said the taskforce would leave no stone unturned in removing all the illegal structures off the land.
He stated that the exercise, which was being done in collaboration with the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC), was aimed at restoring the ecology of the land.
He said owners of structures that were removed by the taskforce would be surcharged by the assembly
Solomon Kotey, MCE of La-Dadekotopon noted that the assembly had been empowered by law to protect the Kpeshie Lagoon and would do so without fear or favour.
He stated that the encroachers were served notices to remove their structures by October 30 but most failed to adhere to the caution.
He said no compensation would be paid to persons affected by the exercise saying that the assembly would plant trees on the reclaimed land to protect it.
Mr Anthony Boafo, one of the affected persons, said he was granted permission by the chiefs to operate a temporal business on the land and not to take ownership of it.
He said the activity of the taskforce was harsh on his structure as it was sited outside of the buffer zone demarcated by the assembly.
Mr Boafo urged the assembly to institute extensive consultation with persons encroaching on unused lands before destroying their assets.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS