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13.05.2005 General News

30% of Korle-Bu land stolen

By GYE NYAME CONCORD

The country's haphazard land ownership system, often resulting in some ugly land disputes countrywide, has rocked the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, robbing the hospital of an estimated 30 percent of its original land to encroachers.

What makes the situation more worrisome, sources within the Hospital told this paper, are reports that much of these lands were stolen with the connivance of some hospital authorities, public officials, as well as staff.

The original land area covers plots that now houses plush offices and homes, including a number of clinics operated by staff and former staff of the nation's premier hospital, GYE NYAME CONCORD has gathered.

Confronted with this information, the current Chief Executive Officer of Korle-Bu, Dr. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, said it was to prevent any further loses of lands that his administration swiftly moved in to acquire documents covering the land in attempts to get rid of squatters and unauthorised encroachers.

He blamed the problem on the manner Korle-Bu lands were abandoned over the years without any fence, stressing that, past administrations since 1924 have been scared to undertake any fencing because of the huge cost involved.

He said not until recently when his administration adopted fresh strategy to fence Korle-Bu, the hospital and staff were loosing between one to two cars a month through theft as well.

To him, despite the huge cost involved in walling Korle-Bu, the project has justifiably served its purpose “because we have secured the borders and it is now almost impossible to come into Korle-Bu without passing through the approved roots”.

“Encroachment is a thing of the past,” he said, adding that “we needed to secure the land and we also needed to get rid of the squatters and encroachers”.

Security wise, Dr. Frimpong Boateng told GYE NYAME CONCORD that just about two weeks ago, some robbers attempted to rob the car of one doctor who had closed from the X-ray Department to his bungalow, but because of the new security measures, alarm was raised and the people could not escape.

Quiet recently, nurses as well could not walk from their quarters to the main clinical area in the night for fear of being attacked or raped. That too has changed, he said.

Likening the hospital and himself to a village and its chief, the respected heart surgeon/administrator said managing the hospital was like managing a sophisticated village.

“It's a peculiar hospital unlike Komfo Anokye where nurses and doctors don't stay in the hospital. We also have at least 14kms of road network which need regular maintenance; the drainage, the sewage, renovating buildings, bungalows, waste disposal and settling disputes”.

Dr Frimpong revealed, however, that since fencing Korle-Bu the hospital authorities have retrieved stolen items worth over ¢300m from vehicles leaving their premises, mentioning some of the items as monitors, bicycles and drugs.

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