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14.04.2019 Feature Article

Houses are Built on Top of a Mountain of Refuse of about 8 Metres High at Mallam Junction in Accra – How?

Why are Ghanaians fond of committing acts, and doing things that give room for our neighbours, especially our White contemporaries, to question our intelligence and to treat us as subhuman? When the Whiteman tells the African or the Blackman the truth, they are straightaway accused of racism. They are said to hate the Blackman. This is the erroneous belief, if not the prejudiced view, of blacks,about the whites. Such jaundiced views will not do us black people or Africans any good.

Not long ago, African leaders were sorry to say, hopping around like Kangaroos, or fluttering about like a headless chicken, trying their hardest to counter the accusation of African countries being a shithole, by the American President Donald Trump. His reasons offered for his accusation, but not allegation, were all sound and factual, according to me and any discerning Ghanaian. For it is said, "If you are at the bottom of the ladder and you think you are on top of it, you can no longer climb any further but to climb down" If we refuse as a nation and people to accept our shortcomings to rather redress them, we shall never progress. Africa is underdeveloped and our leaders are experts in embezzling State funds and assets to cause deprivation of basic amenities to the majority of the governed hence being a shithole continent abounding in shithole countries.

How come that in this day and age, some Ghanaians see it fit to build their houses on top of refuse in a dumping-ground? The yet to be fully decomposed refuse is about eight metres from the actual ground level. How can the houses being built on top of the refuse dump have solid ground foundation? Let me cite the biblical "Parable of the Wise and the Foolish builders" as at Matthew 7:24-27 to buttress my contention. Jesus said, "24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

The house in the parable that fell, did actually fall because it had no strong foundation. Are the houses being built on top of refuse that is about eight metres high from the actual ground level not without solid foundation? Will they not fall with any little earth tremor that takes place in the area? If I am not mistaken, and with my memories serving me right by getting my facts correct, have parts of Accra not known to have suffered insignificant earth tremors in recent times? Is this not a sign of greater earthquake to hit Accra or Ghana if we are not lucky? In the event of any such natural catastrophe, could the houses built on the refuse dump have any chance to stand without crashing onto the ground?

Not only that houses are being built on top of yet to be fully decomposed refuse ground at Mallam Junction in Accra but also, in the area earmarked for a road to serve not only the residents of the area but the people of Accra. This has made it possible for some houses there to become locked out of accessibility to roads.

What will happen in the unlikely event of a house being on fire in that area with the Fire Brigade needing access to reach them? There is absolutely no road access to many houses there simply because some greedy government officials or the traditional rulers of the area have superintended the sale of the land set aside for a road to some people to construct their houses.

When I was visiting the area with my nephew come from Kumasi, and in a taxi, I pointed the refuse dump with houses built and others being built on it to him. When I questioned why and how the local authority, thus the District Council of the area, would sit by doing nothing for houses to be built not only on top of the refuse dump but also, in the middle of the future road to deprive the area completely of vehicular access, the taxi driver had an answer to give.

Has President Donald Trump not every justified right to treat Ghana and her neighbouring African countries as shithole countries? A country where its leaders cannot foresee problems to prepare against them in advance. A country where most of the people and our leaders are reactive but not proactive.

As soon as I pointed the refuse dump to my nephew with the question asked, the driver of the taxi I was travelling in said, "We, the locals of this area, have raised concerns about it. We have escalated it but the NPP councillors or government have told us there is nothing they can do. The houses were built or started to be built in year 2015, during the regime of the NDC under former President John Dramani Mahama. They are not going to destroy the houses to avoid the house owners accusing them of destroying their houses", the taxi driver told me.

The NPP are not going to do anything about the houses despite the dangers they pose; not having any solid foundations, not having access to a road, therefore, making it impossible for the Fire Service to reach them in an event of a house catching fire. The NPP’s fear, if I do understand them, is that the people may decide not to vote for them by accusing them of coming to destroy their houses. For this reason, if the NDC did nothing about the houses but rather facilitated their construction, the NPP are not those going to pull the houses down to incur the punitive wrath of the house owners and their occupants to finally suffer election defeat in the area.

If the Councillors can video record the area and put it in the public domain, and have the wisdom to explain the dangers the houses pose to their owners and the occupants as well as their neighbours, Ghanaians will understand them if they knock down the houses for the safety and protection of those living in the area. A government must have the balls to deal head-on with hazards. The houses and where they are built, coupled with preventing road accessibility to the area can earn the public support for their demolition.

I was shown the house of a certain Nigerian house owner in the area. He has a mini bus of the nature of Urvan parked inside his house. The van has flat tyres. I was told he has no way to drive the van out hence the van getting stuck inside the house. He could drive the car/van but since the last time he drove in with the construction of houses in the road, he could no longer have any means to drive the van out. Such is the sad situation faced by the road-blocked houses in the area. If the affected houses were a country, I would have said landlocked instead of road-blocked.

The government must be seen to do the right thing all of the time despite the moaning and curses by the few uncivilized ones who always resort to denying the government their votes at general elections should it do something they are not happy with as individuals,but which may be in the greater interest of the country. Those house owners with their houses on the refuse dump and in the road in that Mallam Junction area, must understand the danger they are posing to themselves and their neighbours. Therefore, they must not hold the Council or the government accountable for anything should their houses be pulled down. They must themselves be understandable.

Those people who sold the plots to them, knowing the refuse has not been removed should have known better. Those who demarcated plots to them in the area earmarked for a road must be made to face the music. Why should we be moved by the desire for insatiable wealth and corruption to behave so irresponsibly to be seen as fools in the eyes of our intelligent White people? Why can’t we see danger looming and solve it but to wait for it to happen and then react? The houses on top of the refuse dump and in the area earmarked for a road pose a danger which must be removed immediately.

Rockson Adofo

Rockson Adofo
Rockson Adofo, © 2019

This author has authored 1756 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: RocksonAdofo

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