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31.03.2004 Regional News

Reclaim our land for us, Accra Training College appeals to Government

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Accra, March 30, GNA - The Management of the Accra Training College on Tuesday appealed to the Government to as a matter of urgency, intervene on the school's behalf and reclaim its land from encroachers. The Management alleged that encroachers, with the support of the chief and people of Mempehuasem in the Madina area in Accra, had now taken over 68. 8 hectares of the 91 hectares on the School's land that was acquired by the Government-Executive Instrument (EI 72) in 1972 for the College. The Management said the School was currently occupying a land area of 20 hectares, which it said, was woefully inadequate for urgent expansion works.

Mr Abu Bakar Wallace, Principal of the College, who took the press round the land, said the encroachment situation had become so serious that all expansion works had to be halted until a proper negotiation was arrived at between the Chief and the school authorities. He mentioned that the school needed to expand its boarding facilities introduced three years ago, as well as build a new library complex, an ICT centre, a distant learning centre and a demonstration school for its interns.

The Principal described the situation as very alarming, adding, "the tempo of constructional activities going on as to be found around the Ghana Book Trust and opposite the Institute of Professional Studies was so high that soon, the College would lose all its undeveloped land to private individuals to the disadvantage of the College and, therefore, the nation". Mr Wallace urged the Government to intervene so that a peaceful compromise with the people could be reached by either giving them some percentage of the land "so that the college can continue with its educational activities peacefully".

The Vice-Principal of the College, Mrs Christiana Bampo-Heneku said the School's oil palm plantation from where palm nuts were harvested for the school's kitchen had also been encroached upon and burnt. She, therefore, called on the Government through the Ghana Education Service, to restore the school's land to it. During the rounds, media practitioners observed that different portions of the undeveloped College land had been demarcated with pillars. Journalists also saw that the land had been sold to private developers, who had started putting up structures on the College land.