Henry Quartey leads team to demolish 100s of unauthorised homes, structures at Sakumono Ramsar site
The Accra Regional Security Council has begun the demolition of several unauthorized structures at the Sakumono Ramsar site.
The exercise, being led by the Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, will span a 3-day period, during which all buildings and structures that have been unlawfully erected within the core zone of the Sakumono Ramsar site will be destroyed.
This follows several cautionary measures and announcements issued out to property owners and inhabitants of these structures by the Council.
The move is in line with efforts to preserve the ecological state of the site.
“Leading the team on Wednesday morning, the minister, Henry Quartey said, “There are people deliberately encroaching on government lands. Lands that have been acquired by Executive Instrument for the purposes of the state. One of that you know was the CSIR, by the grace of God, we have been able to do that. Today we are here, during Kwame Nkrumah’s time, lands from this area all the way to Tema was acquired by Executive Instrument, where the head leads was under TDC.
“Some part of the acquired lands was ceded for Ramsar lands. We are told that the total acreage is over 3000 acres. We are talking about 18,000 plots. As we speak, we are reliably informed that well over 2,500 acres of government land has been encroached upon with impunity,” he said.
The Sakumono Ramsar Site is a wetland with a core area of about 1200 hectares, according to the Forestry Commission.
The site, which is of international importance, has been designated for ecological purposes including migratory animal life for especially birds among others under the Ramsar Convention. It is also supposed to serve as a holding base for gallons of flood water from the adjoining communities.
But over time, the Ramsar site has been encroached on by real estate owners and is being used for purposes of farming, fishing, recreation, among others, thereby posing danger to the ecology.
Currently, the core area of the site is less than 600 acres, according to the Forestry Commission.