The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) last Friday commenced an exercise to demolish 80 unauthorised buildings sited on watercourses, in order to stop what authorities described as human-induced flooding in the city.
On the first day of the operation, bulldozers pulled down 26 unauthorised buildings said to be on the course of the Owabi River at Kronum Kyekyire. Forty-four other houses have been earmarked for demolition in the same area but the authorities are still vetting permits provided by the property owners.
Kumasi has had its share of the heavy rains which resulted in flooding in many parts of the country.
Three members of a family of four died at Kronum Kyekyire when their house collapsed on them following flooding after a downpour.
In addition to that property worth thousands of Ghana cedis was destroyed in the area as a result of flooding.
Although some of the residents whose buildings were demolished said they agreed that the buildings were sited on the watercourse, they chastised the chiefs of the area for selling the land to them.
Many of them, especially the women, wept uncontrollably as the bulldozer shovelled their buildings, which they claimed had been constructed with money earned from many years of toil.
Some of them pleaded with the authorities to grant them a grace period to look for alternative accommodation.
Policemen were present to prevent any possible clash between the authorities and the residents who might have sought to stop the demolition exercise.
However, the exercise was carried out peacefully, as there was no resistance from any quarters.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Samuel Sarpong, who personally supervised the exercise, said all unauthorised structures would be demolished to help avert any more disasters in future.
He announced that the exercise would move into the heart of Kumasi, after Kronum, to areas such as Oforikrom, Susanso, Anloga and Airport Roundabout (Agye Boat) where some buildings are sitting on watercourses.
He said the assembly was taking the exercise step by step and that it was currently taking an inventory of all structures on watercourses in those areas as part of due diligence to check where there were no permits and such structures were obstructing the free flow of water.
Mr Sarpong said the assembly wanted to find a lasting solution to the recurrent trend and prevent situations such as happened in Accra.
The Kumasi MCE expressed the hope that the exercise would serve as a deterrent to other people who would want to flout the assembly's bye-laws.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Development Control Officer, Mr Amoako Asiamah, told the Daily Graphic that the KMA would protect lands near water sources after the demolition.
He said those affected at Kronum Kyekyire would not get any compensation since their buildings had no permits.
He said some owners of the remaining 44 buildings had provided permits given them by the Kwabre District Assembly and that the KMA was going to sit down with officers from Kwabre to assess the situation to find the way forward.
Floods from heavy rains have in various degrees hit areas such as Breman-Abusuakruwa, Aboabo, Atonsu S-Line, Ahinsan and parts of Buokrom Estates.
The flood situation, in the country this year has been very serious, rendering many people homeless. ,
President John Evans Atta Mills recently directed that all structures built on watercourses should be demolished to minimise the devastating effects of floods.
Monday, July 20, 2009
ONE of the most wanted armed robbers on the list of the police in Kumasi, Awudu Karim, was gunned down by a military/police patrol team last Saturday night after more than five years of fruitless attempts to track him down. The death of the gangling Awudu came barely a week after police killed eight armed robbers on the Anwiankwanta-Bekwai road in the Ashanti Region and police said it was another success story in the fight against armed robbery. The deceased who had been linked to a series of robberies in Kumasi and Obuasi was also alleged to have raped a number of women including prostitutes through their anus. He was killed after resisting arrest and injuring a soldier in the process. Police said Awudu also violently freed himself and pointed a locally manufactured pistol at the soldier, forcing the police to gun him down. Popularly referred to as “Awudu Maayanka” the police claimed one of his accomplices named as Francis Gyimah, 16, had just been arrested on Saturday afternoon and had mentioned his name as his boss and mentor. A number of his victims have come forward to identify him as ever robbing and raping them. The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbillah, who briefed the press said one police officer spotted Awudu at the Aboabo Station at Alabar between 10 and 11pm and called for reinforcement to help apprehend him. The commander said upon the arrival of the patrol team a soldier engaged Awudu and arrested him but he managed to free himself injuring the military man in the process. He said they pursued him and just as he pulled a locally manufactured pistol and pointed it at the military man, the police were forced to gun him down. DCOP Timbillah said two live cartridges aside what had been loaded in the locally manufactured gun were retrieved from him. In addition to that two mobile phones, one of which was later identified as a phone he snatched from someone in the afternoon was retrieved from him. DCOP Timbillah said Awudu had been organising young boys for robbery expeditions as well as raping his victims. He claimed some lady victims who had come forward to identify him claimed Awudu preferred raping them via the anus. The Police Commander said on Friday he outwitted the police at the Asokwa residential area after a robbery expedition where he made away with four video decks, GH¢150 cash, four mobile phones and a television set. He stated that on Saturday the police got another information that someone was terrorizing and robbing people at Atonsu Kuwait and the police followed up and later managed to arrest Francis Gyimah, 16, who mentioned Awudu as their mentor and ring leader. The suspect claimed Awudu was around the robbery scene but fled before the police got there. Upon a tip off the police proceeded to the house of another accomplice, named as Paa Tuo where the police retrieved robbery implements including two axes, a scissors and a knife. He said Paa Tuo was on the run and the police were looking for him. DCOP Timbillah said Awudu was an ex-convict who was also being sought for by the Obuasi police for a number of crimes. He said at the Asokwa Police for instance there were about three fresh robbery cases against him which included an attack on some young boys on June 1, 2009, an attack on a beer bar where he was said to have vandalized, ransacked the place and took away money. Since he was gunned down a lot of people have been coming forward to identify him. Moments after his body was dumped at the police headquarters word went round the metropolis and many people besieged the police station during the night and in the morning to identify him. A team of prostitutes “call girls” who came to identify him at about 12 midnight jubilated over his death and alleged that he had been terrorizing them at their various hangouts and had been raping them. “Awudu would never have sex with you in the normal way oo!!, he would force you to bend over at gun point and do it through the anus in the bush”, one of them told the Daily Graphic. The remains have since been deposited at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital morgue.
Posted by Enoch Darfah Frimpong at 9:32 am
IN what police say is the single biggest operation against armed robbery in the country, eight armed robbers all believed to be of Fulani extraction, were gunned down by the police in a hail of bullets on the Anwiankwanta-Bekwai road in the Ashanti Region Monday night.
The armed men had barricaded the road at about 7pm robbing travellers when the police, acting upon a tip off, descended on them.
Police identified one of them as Ahmed Boakye, a Fulani man, who was involved in a robbery case at a filling station on April 22, 2007. He was granted bail by a High Court in Kumasi where he was on trial.
Four others believed to have sustained gunshot wounds, managed to escape into the bush and police have called on the public especially medical centres to be on the look out for any one with a suspected gunshot wound who may seek medical attention.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Patrick Timbillah, was excited at the operation and said, “We are on the right path and there is no turning back”
“I promised that we were taking the fight to them and that is what we are just doing,” Timbillah told journalists in Kumasi today.
One policeman was injured on the hand from pellets fired from a locally made pistol the robbers used.
A police vehicle used in the operation was also dented as the robbers fired back in an attempt to flee arrest.
Police retrieved from the robbers, four locally made pistols, 11 unspent cartridges, three spent cartridges six mobile phones, five flashlights and a number of talismans.
Hundreds of people poured into the precincts of the Regional Police Headquarters where the bullet-ridden bodies of the robbers lay. Some cursed them even in death.
DCOP Timbillah said that at about 6.20pm on Monday police had information that some Fulani men had blocked the road, robbing people of their personal belongings.
A detachment of personnel from the Buffalo Unit was detailed to the spot.
The regional commander stated that while the police were getting nearer the scene, they saw a number of vehicles doing the u-turn to escape attack from the armed men.
The policemen continued to the area but before they would reach the spot, the robbers started firing at them resulting in the injury to the policemen.
On realising that the police were closing in on them with other vehicles, the robbers started running away but the police opened fire on them killing eight in the process.
Their bodies had been deposited at the morgue pending further investigations.
Before this incident the biggest single attack on armed robbers was in 2002, when police killed five armed men who attacked a warehouse in Kumasi. A policeman lost his life in the process as the robbers hit back.
Posted by Enoch Darfah Frimpong at 9:31 am