The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for lands and forestry, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, has vowed that the government will put in place the necessary safeguards to protect the Ramsar site from encroachment.
He maintained that Ghana, as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Forests, committed to conserving and preserving the site for the purpose for which it was intended.
Addressing the media after visiting the site on Thursday, the Deputy Minister indicated that the plan to rescue the property was in phases, with phase one involving the removal of all encroachers and the construction of a fence.
The second phase of the project, he added, would involve the mapping and taking of inventory of structures within the perimeter.
After the inventory, Mr Owusu-Bio said the Ministry would notify the general public about the affected illegal buildings and advise obstructionists to leave the region.
He cautioned that the government would not stand back and watch individuals encroach on the land and that land protection was a visionary solution to preventing future floods.
“This is a flood-prone area but people have blatantly developed and encroached on it. This space is a protected area and Ghana by signing to the Ramsar convention, it is our duty to protect it for the purpose for which it was laid down
“This area is supposed to serve as a reservoir for floods from Aburi towards Accra and flow peacefully into the ocean. Phase one is to remove the fence walls of the speculators. The second phase will be marking out structures in the waterways with the inscriptions ‘to be demolished”
According to the Deputy Minister, none of the buildings located at the site has building permits and is essentially uninhabitable.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, disclosed that earlier attempts by the Commission to dismantle unauthorized constructions had been hampered by legal proceedings.
Following meetings with key parties, he stated that the numerous legal obstacles had been addressed and that permission had been granted for the commission and the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council to demolish the buildings and free the sites from the commission.
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD