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02.04.2004 General News

AMA to clamp down on squatters

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Accra, April 2, GNA- The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Friday ad vised squatters to dismantle and move-out immediately or face the full rigours of the law. Mr Ben Annan, AMA Presiding Member who gave the advice said the Assembly had developed the modalities and the political will to deal with illegal occupants within the city.

Addressing a press conference organized by the AMA's Public Relations and Complaints Committee, Mr Annan said, the city needs to be restored to its lost glory adding, "We must all bite the bullet to ensure that Accra reflects its status as the national Capital and the Gateway to the West African Sub-region".

Mr Annan mentioned in particular the Tema Station Lorry park near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, describing the condition there as "abhorring". The Ghana News Agency (GNA) motoring team of the situation at the Lorry Station showed that it served a multiplicity of purposes at different times - Lorry Station, market, chop bars, pick-pocketing centre between 0600 hours to 1900 hours, portions become washroom, video centres, drinking spots, community centre between 1900 hours and 2300 hours.

Between 2100 hours and 0500 hours it the place is turned into a brothel with the tables serving as beds, and sleeping places for male and female youngsters as well as the old ones.

It was also observed that life during the week-ends are quite different, it becomes the nerve centre of Lotto Operations on Saturday and on Sundays becomes untidy with washed cloths unsightly hanging all over the place. While the women cooked at different locations, children ignorantly play in the filth and young men used other portions as playing grounds.

Mr Annan explained that the Tema Station was built under a World Bank funded project as a pilot model but unfortunately other projects were abandon because of the state of affairs at the station. The AMA Presiding Member said Tema Station would be cleared of all illegal structures, restore to its original plan, and purpose as a Lorry Park.

Speaking on the general sanitation problem facing the metropolis, Mr Annan appealed to the media to join the Assembly to educate and sensitize the public on the hazards of unsanitary conditions and its byelaws. He also urged commuters to the city from across the country to adhere to the AMA byelaws as well as maintain hygienic environment within the city. On the state of affairs at the Sodom and Gomorrah, the AMA Presiding Member said the Assembly had not aborted its quest to flush out the squatters but it was developing a new settlement for the affected residents.