Residents who would be affected by the proposed James Town Fishing harbour in Accra, have appealed to the government and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to compensate them for the demolition of their properties.
The assembly has already begun demolishing structures in the area to pave way for the construction of the 60 million dollar James Town proposed fishing harbour project by the government.
The James Town Fishing Harbour is one of the 12 projects being executed by government along the coastal belts of the country.
When Ghanaian Times visited the location on Friday, buildings were seen pulled down completely while others were being marked for demolition by the assembly.
Some of the victims claimed they were strangers and rented the places from others while at the moment had no other places to go.
The Chief Executive of the AMA, Mohamed Nii Adjei Sowah when interview explained that the victims could not be compensated by the assembly because they were all squatters who had no reason taking up residence there.
“If there should be any financial commitment, then it has to be the responsibility of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Ministry of Transport,” he stated.
Nii Adjei Sowah added that the old fishing harbour had been turned into a slum and dotted with dilapidated structures, hence the need for the AMA to demolish them to pave way for proper development.
“We will continue to engage them since the project would commence somewhere May this year,” he said.
Nii Kai Okaishie III, the chief fisherman of James Town told the Ghanaian Times that, the fishing complex was not meant for human settlement but rather for fishing activities.
“Because of accommodation challenges in the Accra, some individuals from the different communities deliberately settled at the fishing complex without any permit,” he said.
Nii Okaishie added that land was a government land and the residents were aware of it when they acquired the land without consulting any chief in the town.
He said that the occupiers were warned years ago about the exercise to clear unauthorised structures at the fishing complex to pave way for the harbour construction projects but some occupiers proved stubborn whiles others obeyed the rules and sought refuge elsewhere.
A victim Lawrencia Lamptey, pleaded with the government to re-consider the situation at hand and relocate them to another place where they will have peace.
“I came from Anomabo in Central Region to settle here in order to make ends meet and cater for my family,” she lamented.
BY EVANGEL KELVIN AINOO AND DAVID TAKYI