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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sodom and Gomorrah dwellers vow to resist eviction

Sodom and Gomorrah dwellers to resist AMA eviction
Sodom and Gomorrah dwellers to resist AMA eviction

Residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, a sprawling slum community in the Central Business District of Accra, say they would resist any attempt by city authorities to evict them.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly has served notice that it would evict the over 40,000 slum dwellers without any form of compensation or relocation as earlier planned.

AMA boss Alfred Vanderpuije told pressmen earlier this week that the slum was a national security risk, stressing, residents there would not be compensated after eviction.

During a tour by Joy News reporters around the area, residents were doing brisk business with smoke wafting over the shanties.

A middle-aged man told Joy News’ reporter Sammy Darko he would leave only after raising a GH¢10,000.00.

“If I get that money I will return…to my hometown,” he said.

A mother of four who has been living in the community for over four years said she has no other place to go with her family.

Meanwhile, Gushena, a sub-chief in the community, said any attempt to evict them would be tantamount to treating them like animals.

“We’re not saying we are not going but they should find an alternative for us” he said through an interpreter.

He told Joy News the slum dwellers expected government to negotiate with them before issuing the directive.

Resident of Sodom and Gomorrah, also called Old Fadama, are split along a complex mixture of political and ethnic lines, and engage in periodic clashes, most of which have been deadly.

The community has been described by city authorities as a hot spot for small arms and light weapons.

The four-acre community became the dwelling place of displaced northerners who fled the Kokomba and the Nanumba war in the 1990s.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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