The Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has suspended a planned demolition exercise at the Ramsar site to allow further engagement with stakeholders to draw a roadmap for the reclamation of the encroached portions of the site.
The meeting, held on Sunday, was also to regularise properties in the enclave to ensure that residents did not evade their tax obligations such as property rates.
It is recalled that last month, the REGSEC supervised the demolition of fence walls that were built in the core areas of the Ramsar site and was set to demolish all illegal buildings on the site in the second phase.
This was scheduled to take place after a team of inter-governmental agencies was tasked to take inventory of all illegal buildings and submit the report to the REGSEC.
But the Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey told a gathering of Chiefs, residents and Chief Executives of Tema West and Tema Metropolitan Assemblies that no single building would be demolished until a clear roadmap was fashioned out.
He stated that, such stakeholders’ engagement would be held again in three weeks time to go through rigorous processes for “a win-win situation for all.
Until then, he instructed that all construction works on the site must cease.
Before the next meeting in three weeks time, Mr Quartey said the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources would assess the situation and come up with a final roadmap which would be announced to the public.
Mr Quartey, however, stated on record that no building was demolished in the recent exercise and that, fence walls were randomly demolished based on their places in the core areas of the Ramsar site, but not a selective demolition as alleged.
He also denied allegations and declared his innocence that no one had been authorised to collect monies from residents and cautioned the public, especially residents to guard against the antics of such people.
Mr Quartey urged residents to cooperate with the technical team that would be on site to draw up a scheme for development of the area which would inform the roadmap to be identified.
He appealed to the chiefs to stop the sale of any portion of the about 3,000 acres of unutilised land, including those not in the core area saying “every unutilised land, from today is placed on hold and when we are done, we’ll sit down with the chiefs to see how it can be done.”
FROM KEN AFEDZI, SAKUMONO