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04.06.2007 General News

Workers Petition Minister Over Their Eviction

Workers of the Meteorological Services Agency in Tamale have appealed to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports to rescind its decision to evict them from bungalows in the metropolis to pave the way for the construction of a car park at the newly constructed stadium complex.

They have, meanwhile, vowed not to leave the place until an alternative accommodation is found for them elsewhere. The bungalows are very close to the new stadium.

According to the workers there had not been enough consultations between the agency and the ministry over the issue.

“We only woke up one day to see bulldozers clearing the area near our homes while the contractor demanded that we vacate the houses to pave the way for them to commence work,” they said.

In separate chats with representatives of the seven families occupying the houses, they said that at the moment they had no other place to move to because they did not have enough resources.

“If they want us to move, then they have to construct new houses for us as quickly as possible to enable us to settle down to work,” they stated.

The Tamale Metropolitan Co-ordinating Director, Alhaji Mohammed Adam Baba, explained that the area where the houses were presently located was supposed to be part of the project.

“Initially when we met with the leadership of the agency, it was agreed that construction of the stadium could go on to give the occupants ample time to relocate,” he said.

Alhaji Baba, however, acknowledged the difficulties that the occupants would encounter and, therefore, proposed that each of the families should look for a three-bedroom house for the ministry to rent for them for a period of two years.

“This would only be a short-term measure so that the agency itself could find permanent accommodation for the staff in future,” he added.

Alhaji Baba further explained that, “these measures are being taken because we need to complete the stadium project on time”.

The 21,000-capacity stadium complex which was started in the last quarter of last year is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, this year and is to be used as one of the venues for the African Cup of Nations (CAN 2008) tournament.