We’ll remove buildings on Ramsar sites – GA/R Minister

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, says buildings sited at the core areas of Ramsar sites will be removed today.

According to him, the constitution mandates Metropolitan Municipal and District, Assemblies to remove such buildings.

Mr Quartey made this known in an interview with journalists yesterday after an emergency meeting between the Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and key stakeholders in Accra.

He explained that the exercise was part of the steps being taken by the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to retrieve state acquired lands that had been encroached upon.

He further noted the exercise was important as the owners of the buildings continued to build with impunity despite several warning and notices over the last two months.

“They have had more than two months’ time. We have been talking about Ramsar in the last two months. We believe they have had over 70 days’ notice and it is enough for them. But rather anytime we speak, they continue to build with impunity,” Mr Quartey said.

In addition, Mr Quartey noted that the outcome of investigations by the security agencies with regards to the issuance of permit to build on Ramsar sites would be made known to the public.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu Bio, explained that the supposed encroachers were already informed about the exercise and the areas it would take place as there had been several engagements with them.

Moreover, he said “We’ve all seen how of late it is raining. We don’t want what happened at Weija to happen over there because they are very close to the sea and as such a disaster can happen.”

According to Mr Owusu Bio, the Ramsar site had three areas, namely the Core, Buffer and the External boundary, hence, those who found themselves in the Buffer and Core areas would have serious questions to answer.

However, he said “over 80 per cent of them will be spared”.

The deputy minister bemoaned the lack of respect for the law by the encroachers saying “there are people in Ghana who I don’t know if they don’t believe in the law or they are just recalcitrant. So even when you tell them not to build, they will go there in the night with light and will be building.”


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