Some Liberian refugees at the Budumburam Camp in the Central Region say they would be forced to live on the streets if the government goes ahead with the planned demolition exercise that will affect portions of the camp on September 30, 2021.
The Budumburam Camp became the home of Liberian refugees after it was opened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1990. It was initially home to some 12,000 refugees.
It also houses refugees from Sierra Leone who fled their country’s civil war between 1991 and 2002.
There have been complaints that the camp currently serves as a home for suspected criminals, with chiefs within the enclave asking the government to decommission the camp.
The government recently gave the green light for portions of the camp to be demolished.
But some inhabitants have urged the government to reconsider the decision.
“We are asking the government to intervene,” One of the inhabitants said to Citi News.
“We did not come here on our own. It was a refugee camp, and they gave us a building… For someone who has lived in your community for 30 years, why would you give me just two months to leave?”
A woman who has been at the camp since 1996 also voiced similar concerns.
“I don’t have a place. I don’t have anywhere to move to… I don’t even have money. There’s no food for me to eat, I don’t have anything,” she lamented.
A single father of two who spoke to Citi News highlighted the cost of rent, which he said was beyond the capacity of many of the refugees.
“Any place you go to in Ghana, you will see people charging GHS300 for a single room. Where are we going to get the money from because many of us living here are not working.”
The District Chief Executive for Gomoa East, Solomon Darko Quarm, has said the demolition is targeting areas which harbour a lot of suspected criminals.
The assembly has also said enough consultation has gone on between opinion leaders and the community, with eviction letters already given to everyone concerned.