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Thursday, October 1, 2009

AMA to Relocate Agbogbloshie Market

Mr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), on Thursday said plans were underway to relocate all commercial activities at Old Fadama (Agbogbloshie) to Amasaman to pave way for the decongestion of Sodom and Gomorrah slum in Accra.

“In the next one or two weeks, all commercial activities at Agbogbloshie would be directed to Amasaman so that the decongestion of Sodom and Gomorrah can take place,” he said.

In an interview with the GNA, the Mayor said the Assembly was also in negotiations with the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company and other utility providers to halt the provision of their services to the slum.

He said the deadline of Wednesday, September 30 given to squatters in the area to produce permits for their permanent structures had elapsed without anyone being able to do so.

The Mayor commended squatters who had taken heed to the Assembly’s call to vacate the area, and urged the rest to do likewise since the decongestion of the area was inevitable.

Mr Vanderpuije reiterated the Assembly’s decision not to compensate or relocate any squatters but would rather provide transportation to any squatter who might request for it.

He said it was disheartening to note that the government spent over 5,000 Euros a day on the Korle Lagoon Dredging Project and yet there had not been much headway due to pollution from the slum area.

Mr Vanderpuije said although the squatters migrated to the place due to conflicts in the north in the 1980s, they had stayed there long enough to find decent accommodation.

He debunked rumours that the previous administration sought funds for the relocation of Sodom and Gomorrah to Adjen Kotoku, adding that the funds sought were rather for the relocation of commercial activities at the area.

Mr Vanderpuije said AMA was serious about the decongestion of Sodom and Gomorrah since it would pave way for the decongestion of other slums such as Babylon, Abuja, Neopolan and Old Passport.

“The decongestion of Sodom and Gomorrah would send the message across that the AMA is seriously bent on decongesting all slums and emerging ones in the city,” he added.

The Mayor, who was reluctant to wade into the debate on the rights of these squatters, said the unsanitary conditions and activities prevailing in the area defied any human rights, adding that the Assembly also had rights to enforce its bye-laws.

“Have the children growing up in that area also no rights to be brought up in a good environment?” he asked.

He bemoaned the high level of criminal activities going on in the Agbogbloshie area which, he said, did not augur well for the development of the city.
Source: GNA

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