Halt slum development along Motorway – Dr. Antwi-Danso
Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Acting Executive Director of the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy, has urged government to halt the development of slums along the Accra-Tema Motorway or risk the emergence of another Sodom and Gomorrah.
He said the Ghana Highways Authority must take cognisance of the developing slums along the motorway and get the assemblies involved to assist to stop such developments.
Dr Antwi-Danso, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, lauded the Tema Metropolitan Assembly and the Tema Development Corporation for keeping the Tema end of the motorway free of slums, but urged them not to rest on their oars.
“They should make sure that it is not a nine-day wonder; people are such that when you clear, they return.”
“They should make sure that whatever it takes to make what they have done a final finality is done,” the University Don observed.
He encouraged the rest of the assemblies sharing the Motorway; namely Accra Metropolis, Adenta and Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assemblies to emulate the Tema Metropolis.
He observed that the motorway was built in such a way that a 150 metres stretch of lands was left on both sides for future expansion works.
Dr Antwi-Danso said: “I think when Nkrumah built the motorway; he had in mind the possibility of Tema joining Accra as one huge city in such a way that you will need the motorway to run through all the way to the Prampram road, but unfortunately people in authority are not doing their work.
“We must stop this thing and I think President Mahama must also crack the whip to make sure that whoever is responsible for anything be made to do it or just pack bag and baggage and leave.
“It is just a question of supervision and corruption. Other than that, I can’t see why a thing, which is for the whole of the country, can be allowed to be messed up by a few individuals through greed and corruption.
“Who authorized those developments? Who authorized the slums? Who authorized what is untoward over there and if it is not authorized, who is supervising that rot? Something must be done.”
He cautioned the nation not to allow another Sodom and Gomorrah to develop, declaring that “when we begin to get them out, you get some saying human rights. Look at the beginning of the rot! And stop it. I believe this is the time to stop the slums that are growing over there.”
Dr Antwi-Danso said: “There are several ways, as somebody said, of killing a cat. When you wait until it is bad, then it is like somebody is bad. When there is any ‘aabaeei’ (which literally means “they are coming”, in the Ga language) even in the villages, they say Okoe Vanderpuije is coming.
“Let us not demonize situations because it is when you do not nip it in the bud then it becomes a monster and you have to use monstrous means to clear them.”
He said in countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sierra Leone, governments took up the issue seriously, making sure that slums do not develop when they do not have to develop.