After several efforts by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council to settle grievances among parties over land encroachment, the age-old impasse of the Sakumono Ramsar site is now on the verge of a peaceful settlement.
All stakeholders have agreed to allow the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council to demolish some 136 structures in the core area of the Sakumono Ramsar site.
Addressing the media following fruitful discussions on the matter, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and Forestry, stated that the demolishing is a necessary evil that must be done for the greater good of all factions and the entire country, as it would help maintain Ghana’s position as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on protecting forests and Ramsar sites.
He emphasized that the 136 structures to be demolished are not livable residences, which he defined as “unfinished constructions with no person living in them, fence walls, foundations, caretakers’ quarters and similar items.”
He stated that to guarantee an inclusive exercise, representatives from traditional councils, the encroachers and the Forestry Commission would be included in the demolition.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, expressed satisfaction and relief that a decision had been reached after numerous years of strife over the issue.
He clarified that as the regulation process commences, only lands with completed houses would be regularized not bare lands and therefore cautioned “those who will go and buy new lands in the area with the idea that it will be regularized should take refrain from taking such actions.”
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD