Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - Some of the people who were displaced as a result of the demolition of Old Fadama, also known as Sodom and Gomorrah, in Accra, have returned to the site. On a visit to the slum, the Daily Graphic saw some of the dwellers putting up structures in which they could lay their heads.
The structures, mainly made of wood and supported with concrete blocks to prevent them from falling, were found scattered on the demolition site. Some of the structures, numbering about 20, were occupied mainly by the aged, women and children.
Other shelters housed some young men who spent their time engaging in one form of leisure or another.
The displaced who could not have the time to put up any structure found their way into mosques that were the only structures left standing after the demolition.
Food vendors, although they had no places of abode, were seen busily preparing meals to be sold.
Scrap dealers were also seen collecting scraps to sell to earn a living.
However, a statement issued by the Metro Coordinating Director of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Sam Ayeh-Detey, said it was an offence, under the rules and regulations (bye-laws) of the AMA, to re-construct those structures without approval from the assembly.
“Any individual or group of persons who go contrary to the rules and regulations will be prosecuted and surcharged for the cost of removal,” it said.
Reacting to the directive given by the AMA, some residents said no message had been conveyed to them, adding, “Even if they come to tell us, where do we go?”
During a tour of the site yesterday by the committee set up to investigate the fire and flood disasters of June 3, the Chief Executive of the AMA, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, expressed the fear that if Sodom and Gomorrah continued to exist, the residents would one day sink into the lagoon.
"We saw the evidence of it yesterday when an excavator that we have been working with has now sunk right into the Korle Lagoon," he said.
As an immediate measure, he said, the assembly was making arrangements with the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMTL) to make available 10 buses to displaced persons who would want to go back north, adding "Money is also being made available so that those who want to go will be assisted to do so."
Checks by the Daily Graphic with some of the displaced persons indicated that more than five buses conveying the affected persons had left for the north.
Mr Vanderpuije said the assembly was also making provision for those who wanted to be relocated to other places such as Amasaman and Adjen Kotoku, saying, "However, we have not finalised that one yet because the Adjen Kotoku project which is supposed to relocate commercial activities is still ongoing."
To ensure that the residents did not return to the demolition site, Mr Vanderpuije said a wall would be constructed along the banks of the lagoon to prevent people from encroaching on the site.
the Chairman of the investigation committee, Mr Isaac Joshua Delali Duose, said the committee was assessing all parameters, the causes and result of what happened to the country on June 3, 2015.
“As a national issue, it was not just people living in Accra who were affected but also others who had travelled from other places to Accra to trade on the night of the disaster,” he said.
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