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Regional News | Feb 18, 2005

Community appeals for adequate compensation for land

GNA

Ehansowode, Okumaning-Kade (E/R), Feb. 17, GNA - Residents of Ehansowode, a village near Okumaning in the Kwaebibirem District in the Eastern Region have appealed to the government to come to their aid in their negotiations on compensations paid to them for their lands claimed from them by the Ghana Oil Development Company (GOPDC).

The residents said the company has acquired their lands and place of settlement, which they have legally acquired and occupied for the past 50 years, since they came to settle there with parents and grandparents, from Gomoa Feteh in the Central Region.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Maxwell Djan, spokesman for the residents said the company has paid them compensations ranging from three million cedis to 17 million cedis as their re-settlement fees and at the same time as fees for the lands claimed from them.

He said the company deducted 10 per cent of the total amount of monies that were to be paid to them as compensations. Mr. Djan said in an agreement with the residents, the company also promised the people that they would be out-growers of the company to enable them to earn their living but the company has not been able to fulfil that obligation.

He said the people are of the view that the Lands Valuation Board that valued their buildings did not take into proper consideration how much it would cost them to acquire building plots and also how much it would cost them to put up new buildings. This, they believed, is the more reason why the Board recommended that the company should pay them those sums of monies which were woefully inadequate to acquire plots of land for them to put up new houses.

Besides, he said the residents are complaining that the company has not paid them for a water borehole, estimated at 100 million cedis constructed through their contributions, which the company has been using for its cattle near the village.

In the light of this, he said, the people are appealing to the government to intervene on their behalf for renegotiations on their compensations, as they believed the company has cheated them. They admitted that when this is done they would be able to find new places to re-settle.

The people are also contemplating that as a result, they have not been able to cater for their children in schools, thus making many of the children ending up as drop-puts.

The people have therefore, called on the government to come to their aid in the shortest possible time in the interest of justice and fairness as they are expected to move from their present place of settlement to another.

Mr. Ben Osafo, Senior Valuation Officer of the Ghana Valuation Board in-charge of Valuation attached to the Company explained to the GNA that the people's compensation were paid upon the valuation based on the type of crops, the nature, type and condition on the land. 17 Feb. 05

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