Occupants of a house earmarked for demolition, to pave way for the construction of a road at Abeka in Accra, are demanding full compensation before giving clearance for the building to be brought down.
The house was put up on land earmarked for a road which is at its second phase of development.
When the road project began, the occupants initially refused a settlement to vacate the property and allow for its demolition.
Authorities of the Okaikwei North Municipal Assembly had earlier indicated the house will be pulled down last Friday to make way for the completion of the road on the Siltstone street.
But Citi News’ Kojo Agyeman who visited the site on the set date reported that although the building had not yet been demolished as planned, the owners of the house say, they will only agree if they are paid for their loss.
Nii Kpakpo Allotey, who spoke for the family said, “we were given a letter to come to the Municipal office. We went there and had interactions with them, and we came to an agreement. We are working things with them. The agreement was that they compensate us before they break the house. We were thinking they will relocate us or give us a house, but they said no. They will compensate us with money. This is not a personal property but a family one. So the family is demanding for payment.”
However, Municipal Chief Executive for the area, Nii Boye Laryea explained despite initial disagreement between the two sides, a compensation amount agreed by the parties has been budgeted for pending government’s approval.
“We have budgeted for it just that it has not been approved by the government. So we are waiting for approval, and then we will give them what has been agreed. They threw away the proposal to be given money in the first place. They didn’t want money but a house somewhere. But about a year later, they came to me that they now want to take the money but the money that was initially agreed to be given to them must be increased.”
“The Assembly took the matter to a management meeting but because the contract was not awarded by the Assembly, we didn’t know what was in that contract, so we invited them, and now they accepted what we offered them just that they wanted something higher than what we proposed”, he added.
The unauthorized siting of buildings has persisted in most part of Accra.
Inadequate housing schemes, unrealistic zoning and the location of land have contributed to these problems.
Residents in the area, however, have also not shied away from sharing their frustrations.
“It has been a bother. There is supposed to be a road. You can see that it is a clear road,” one resident said.
“I used another route to this place thinking the road had been tarred only to get here and see another road. Driving on such a road is very dangerous,” a road user also complained.
The Assemblyman of the Abeka Electoral Area, Baba Yaro, acknowledged that the situation was a major hazard.
“This structure is giving us a problem here. Let’s assume there is a fire outbreak, where will the car pass to get to the other residents?”
They have come to a compromise that the municipality will cover the cost of relocating the occupants to wherever they want to go. So they can get the space to clear it,” Mr. Yaro said.