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02.06.2007 General News

Residents Set ‘Bombay’ Ablaze

Residents of the slum area of Bombay, near the Kumasi Technical Institute (KTI) in Kumasi, nearly succeeded in trapping the City's demolition exercise Task Force when they set their apartments on fire, minutes after the team arrived at the area to carry out the demolition exercise.

After razing down the slum area of Sodom and Gomorra, considered to be the biggest slum in the Kumasi metropolis with an estimated population of about 5,000 inhabitants, and completely destroying Angola, another slum near the Abattoir at Kaase as part of its decongestion exercise and beautification programme, Bombay became the next target of the Task Force.

Prior to the arrival of the team, the residents at Bombay knew that the slum would be razed down and were therefore prepared to meet the team squarely.

Members of the team, made up of policemen, soldiers and KMA officials, had also alleged that just like Sodom and Gomorra and Angola, suspected armed robbers and drug peddlers used Bombay as their base, and were therefore, eager to surround them to look for arms and ammunitions as well as assorted illicit drugs.

The efforts of the task force was however thwarted as soon as they entered the slum area of Bombay when they saw that the residents had set fire to some of their apartments, made up of wooden structures, to block them from advancing further.

They also doused some plastic materials with fuel and set fire to them, making it totally impossible for the team to carry out any search.

The confusion which was created enabled the residents to carry away some of their 'contraband goods'.

As the structures continued to burn gun powder and other combustible materials exploded, and that gave the combined team of Fire Service Personnel a hectic time to put out the fire.

Commenting on the decongestion exercise at Bombay the Transport Officer of KMA, Mr Atta Boafo explained that it was part of a programme to beautify the Kumasi metropolis.

“ After carrying out a successful exercise at Adum and restoring sanity there, we decided to extend it to the slum areas which were not only affecting sanitation and the beautification of the metropolis but were also becoming the den of suspected armed robbers and drug peddlers”.

He said at both Angola and Sodom and Gomorra, they came across quantities of substances suspected to be Indian hemp and cocaine and alleged that some of the residents practised commercial sex in those areas.

He said apart from setting the area ablaze, the residents also started throwing stones at members of the task force, injuring some of them. Mr Atta Boafo said they were able to arrest some of the stone throwers.