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23.11.2007 General News

Houses At Weija Dam Site To Be Demolished

By Stephen K.Effah, Weija -

All buildings which have been built on the Weija water dam and treatment site will soon be demolished, Emmanuel de-Graft Forson, Head of Operations of the Ghana Water Company has hinted.

He told the Times that some measures have been put in place to ensure a smooth demolition exercise to save the dam and the treatment plant from a possible collapse arising out of the activities of encroachers.

Mr. de-Graft Forson said this when members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing toured the site on Tuesday, to acquaint themselves with the problems posed to the dam and the treatment plant by encroachers and stone crackers.

He told the Times that personnel of the National Security on Monday, visited the site to assess the situation and evolve means to provide security at the site, noting that a positive response was given.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee has criticised the Ghana Water Company for showing laxity towards halting quarrying activities and encroachment at the site.

Members said that the claim by the GWCL that it had not have the power to prevent the people from encroaching on its land was unjustifiable, noting that it had 'every right to have defended the title of the land,' but allowed people to encroach it.

According to the members, the GWCL should have prevented the encroachers when they began settling there either through demolition or a court order.

Edward Salia, a ranking member of the committee, said that 'the company could have done more then than now' since the encroachment in the area has now been stretched too far.

He suggested to the GWCL to use the available opportunities like the law courts or the security agencies immediately to stem further encroachment.

Mr. Salia observed that the situation has become 'so serious enough to warrant national attention' and people should not sympathise with anyone who would be affected by a demolition exercise as has become typical of Ghanaians.

'Let us not underestimate the effect and the impact of the activities of the people on the dam,' he said, adding, 'much as we blame the people, we need to blame the company as well.'

Bramfor Daniel Kwame Adu, a member, said the situation as it is now needs drastic action, warning that the problem will continue 'if the company relies solely on the district assembly.'

Another member, Mohammed Ibn Abass, suggested a revision of the boundaries to leave out the encroached areas which have highly been developed and will not have any serious consequences on the dam and the treatment plant.

The Chairman of the Committee, Samuel John Fiah, said it was important that the GWCL has brought to the fore, the problems facing the dam.