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Greater Accra: Residents Cry Foul Over Encroachment At Teshie
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Some residents of Teshie, a community in the Greater Accra Region, have expressed reservations over the erection of structures at a site reserved for growing flowers and trees.

According to them, the activity poses a grave danger to the environment as it defeats the motive for which the land was set aside.

Expressing their displeasure in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic, the residents accused the district assembly of looking on unconcerned while traders took over the site at the expense of the welfare of the community.

Information gathered by the Daily Graphic indicated that the structures (containers) mounted on the site were allegedly owned by wives and relatives of police officers stationed at the Teshie Police Command.

However, all attempts made to get the police to confirm or refute the allegation proved futile.

The situation
The site is located just in front of the Teshie Police Station and stretches close to the Teshie Children’s Home.

On a visit to the site, the Daily Graphic observed that about nine shipping containers had been placed on the piece of land.
There were also raised platforms that suggested that additional structures were likely to be put up.

In one of the containers, the owner, a beautician, was busily operating.

No cause for alarm
A resident of Teshie, who gave his name only as Okoe Ghana, said he did not share in the concerns of residents who were against the siting of structures on the land in question.

He observed that police officers were also entitled to the land, as they served as watchdogs.

Okoe Ghana, who is one of the many labourers engaged to mount containers at the site, said sometime ago he even nursed the idea of acquiring a small portion of the land for his sister-in-law to site a business there.

“But when I approached officials at the police station, I was told that only police personnel from the station could use the land,” he remarked.

Although he was disappointed, Okoe Ghana said he was not in the least perturbed because “the officials told me that if any of the residents is allowed to start a business here, other residents would also request to move there and that would create a lot of chaos, since the land in question is small”.

“Residents are requesting that the operations of the police officers be stopped, but I disagree with their assertions. The land in question has been left fallow for a very long time; it has become a habitat for snakes and other reptiles. If the developers are doing their best to maintain the place, why stop them?” he asked.

The authorities
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly, Mr Seth Badu Tawiah, said he gave out the site to relations of the police officers because he deemed it a good cause.

He said the decision he took was informed by the fact that the police had always kept the place tidy by weeding it.

Mr Tawiah dismissed allegations that the officials had greased his palm and that was why he released the land to them, adding that “my decision to give them the place was based purely on humanitarian grounds. I have not taken a pesewa from any officer”.

He was quick to add that he would keep an eye on the operations of those who owned the structures. He said he would not mind stopping anyone from operating on the site if they went against the terms agreed upon by both parties.

A former Assembly Member for the Ashitey Akomfra Electoral Area, Mr James Narh, said residents who had raised the alarm over the situation were just magnifying the issue, since the land in question was small and could not serve the demands of everybody.

He said those operating on the land were rather creating job opportunities for the unemployed.
Source: Daily Graphic

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