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12.07.2005 Sports News

Land encroachment, major obstacle to Sport devt


Accra, July 12, GNA - One of the major problems confronting sports development in Ghana is the encroachment of lands earmarked for sports infrastructure, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, said Tuesday.

He said the practice was more prevalent in areas where the undue pressure on land is being manipulated by cheats and outlaws. The Minister, who was answering Parliamentary questions, said as a first step towards curtailing this problem, the Ministry of Education and Sports was fencing all playing fields across the country. "In 2004, the ministry started chain link fencing of playing fields. The fencing of playing fields continues this year." He said in Tema, apart from the main Tema Stadium, three other satellite stadia in Tema New Town, Tema Community 4 and Ashaiman were also fenced.

The Minister said the Aboadze playing field in the Shama Ahanta District is one of the last to be fenced. Mr Alfred Kwame Agbesi, NDC-Ashaiman, had asked the Minister when work would commence on the Ashaiman Sports Stadium project to prevent trespassers on the land.

On the Ashaiman Sport Stadium, he said although it is the responsibility of the Tema Municipal Assembly to develop it, the Ministry would assist to make it a reality. He said the Ministry is obliged under its Sports for Development policy to provide technical and financial support to any district that takes the initiative to develop local community fields. The Minister appealed to all district assemblies to develop playing fields.

"Once you start the development of a community playing field, you can always count on my ministry's financial and technical support". he said. 12 July 05