Tema, June 13, GNA - Workers dredging water courses in and around Tema Community 18 were scared off their routine when an embittered land owner pulled a gun at them, says Alhajia Zainab Abdulai, Tema Metropolitan Director for National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
She told a press conference on Tuesday at Cambodia, an area within Community 18, Tema, where a developer had filled the natural course of water with sand purporting to use the area for estate development.
Alhajia Abdulai said one Sledge Nana Yaw Duodu, the developer and businessman, threatened workers who were excavating the site to shoot them and went ahead to seize keys to the excavator they were using in the exercise.
“He asked the excavator operator to stop work but he said he was brought here by TMA. Then he went to his car and brought out a pistol and threatened he would shoot him if he didn’t stop work,” she informed.
Alhajia Abdulai said about a year ago when they realized Mr. Duodu was filling up the site they demanded documentation from him but realized he did not have any.
“We’ve invited him severally to the office, but he’s never showed up. So we decided to open up the drains so the flooding will reduce,” she said.
Mr. Maxwell Adu-Boateng, Tema Metropolitan Engineer, observed that it was not strange to see ‘produce permit written’ on walls whilst work still went on.
He said the developers owners worked at night so they could escape the eyes of the city authorities.
“In fact, I would say it is quite funny. Developers would be in the known that probably this area is waterlogged, but they tend to break the rules. Probably according to the scheme and the zoning status they are not supposed to develop that particular place, but they feel they have the money, so they can fill up the place, or do whatever they want, and they go ahead to put up structures,” he asserted.
Mr. Felix Mensah Nii Annan-La, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) observed that the Assembly could not allow the lives of occupants of over twenty houses in the neighbourhood to be in danger.
“The occupants of all the houses you see around are no more living here due to the threat they are facing from the rain. And as we all know this gentleman has come here to block the water way just in the name of trying to develop the area. We cannot sacrifice over two hundred lives just because of one person who thinks he is a business man,” Mr. Annan-La observed.
He said the land owner had constructed a wall which was blocking the water way, and so the water had to move to the extreme end of the wall and then force its way into the community.
“That is the danger the community is facing, and we’d make sure we pull down the wall for the drain in case there is any down pour,” he promised.
Mr. Annan-La observed how permits had been issued by some engineers from Tema Development Corporation (TDC), but said the issue was not who had or who did not have permits.
“If somebody is doing the wrong thing we must deal with it. Permits can be issued wrongly and institutions in charge have to handle the issues as such,” he said.