Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sodom and Gomorrah slum in Kumasi demolished

THE biggest single demolition exercise ever to hit the ‘Garden City’ of Kumasi took place yesterday when the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) razed down Sodom and Gomorrah, a sprawling slum near Adum, sending more than 3000 residents looking for places to lay their heads.
Armed soldiers and policemen supervised the demolition exercise which took two caterpillars about one hour to complete as several wooden and mud houses in which the residents, mostly of northern extraction lived, came crumbling down. The exercise was part of the second phase of the decongestion exercise, embarked upon by the city authorities about two months ago.

There was virtually no resistance from
the residents, even though KMA officials said there was an initial potential for it.
A number of the residents had gone out when the exercise took place and those who were around had to struggle to pull away their personal belongings.
Some wailed uncontrollably and two nursing mothers holding strongly to their one-week and three-day old babies were seen running away to a safer place.
Officials said with Sodom and Gomorrah gone, the next target was Angola, another fast growing slum near Kaase in Kumasi.

Some people had associated the slum, the biggest in Kumasi, to vices including prostitution and gambling, but the leaders of the community denied these some months ago at a news conference.

There was a market, day care centre and other ‘facilities’ in the area, which was also connected to electrical power from the national grid.
KMA officials said the decision to demolish the slum was due to reasons other than immorality.

Mr Charles Ampomah-Mensah, the Metropolitan Engineer at the KMA, told the Daily Graphic that the area was simply not zoned for human habitation and the general conditions there was nothing to write home about.

He stated that the sewer system from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital ran to the area and it was an eyesore to see human beings living with all sorts of unhealthy materials at Sodom and Gomorrah.

Again, the metropolitan engineer indicated that the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had their sub stations very close to the area, which was dangerous for the residents.

He said the decision to demolish the place was taken about two years ago when the KMA informed the residents accordingly.
However, the leaders of the ‘community’ petitioned the KMA to extend the deadline for the exercise “ and we agreed”.

Mr Ampomah-Mensah said when the deadline expired the leaders again petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over the intended exercise “and again we have to wait until the commission saw that the petitioners had no case”.
To a question as to whether the KMA would look for an alternative place for the residents to live, the engineer said “we are not duty-bound to look for a place for them”
He said the KMA was planning on what to do in the area but said it was likely the place would first be beautified to serve as a green zone for a recreational centre.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Hi, Enoch,

I found your blog through the article on the bird flu. I really find it fascinating. I love to learn about other countries, their people, culture, customs. The pictures are great.

I read the article about the destruction of the slum and was very distressed. Where did the people go? Did they lose all their belongings?

I have good friends who live in what you would call the slums surrounding Lima, Peru. I can't imagine the government coming in and razing their homes. I hope all the people could find somewhere else to build their community back up.