Wpid Tdc
Over 100 Houses Demolished At Adjei Kojo

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A helpless mother with her belongings

Business24

There was wailing and weeping at Promised Land in Adjei Kojo last Tuesday and Wednesday, when the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) demolished dozens of houses in that section of the Metropolis.

The demolition exercise, fully supported by a completely armed Police/Military team, rendered about 3,000 residents in the area, which is at the heart of the Tema West Constituency, homeless.

According to the TDC, its taskforce embarked upon the demolition exercise to rid their lands of illegal structures.

Warning Shots

In the ensuing confusion, warning shots were fired to disperse angry residents as structures were flattened, and residents had to salvage whatever belongings they could lay their hands on.

The level of destruction shocked many, with politicians especially accusing the development authorities of insensitivity.

They said the TDC did not attach ?human face? to the exercise, but others disagreed, saying it was a lesson for people who put up structures on unauthorized properties.

Irene Naa Torshie Addo, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, at a point, clashed with the joint military and police personnel, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Abass from the National Police Rapid Development Taskforce, because she felt the residents were being short-changed.

Allegations

Military Destruction

In fact, some residents claimed they were never notified on the exercise, but the TDC thought otherwise and insisted they should not have been there in the first place.

Some of the victims still held that they acquired the lands from the traditional heads of the area, who are also laying claim to the stool land.

Others claimed that the land was originally sold to them by the Slaha Chief and elders of Tema, and that the only document they had concerning the land was the indenture provided them when they bought the land.

TDC?s Version

Dorothy A. Asare-Kumah, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the TDC, on behalf of the corporation, released a statement saying the TDC was collaborating with the National Security to bring the menace of land-guards in Tema under control.

?The major operational challenge that the TDC faces is the blatant encroachment of its lands. Illegal sale of lands by individuals and some traditional authorities in the metropolis have seriously affected the Corporation?s activities.?

According to Ms. Asare-Kumah, thousands of acres of lands belonging to TDC had been lost to encroachers and as a result, the government had lost over 740 acres of land in one community alone. She said the worst hit areas were Adjei-Kojo and its environs such as Gulf City, Bethlehem and the Ramser Site around Klagon.

?The activities of land-guards and encroachers have perpetuated the trespassing and misuse of government lands in the Tema Acquisition Area, prompting the need for national security intervention,? the PRO said.

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Homeless families

According to her, the TDC and the National Security Service were leading a special exercise codenamed OPERATION HALT II to stop the activities of land-guards in that part of the country.

MP?s Intervention

The MP, Naa Torshie-Addo, however, insisted that TDC and the government were unfair in rendering the victims homeless, all in the name of a foreign private estate developer.

She said that if the government had failed at rescuing the homeless on the streets, it was very insensitive of it to create more homeless people, vowing to take the issue to the law court for redress to save the people.

Victims Account

Devastated families have vowed to resist any attempt to drive them away from their land.

Some of the victims mounted temporal tent on the lands to pass the night, calling on the government and the chiefs who sold the lands out to them for compensation.

Out of frustration, some residents mounted barricades amidst burning of lorry tyres to vent their anger, but the security team managed to bring the situation under control.

More to Come

The TDC extended the demolition exercise to King Solomon City also near Adjei Kojo.

A house believed to belong to a matron at the Tema General Hospital, the Jesus Glorious Church and Great God Preparatory School have all been pulled down.

Residents whose houses have been earmarked for demolition are now calling for negotiation instead of demolition.

From Vincent Kubi, Tema

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