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General News of Sunday, 30 September 2012

Source: Daily Guide

‘Pull Down Unauthorized Structures’

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwadwo Owusu-Agyeman has ordered that all unauthorized structures on the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) land should be demolished.

There have been fierce struggle over the ownership of the land which belongs to GAEC under the law due to the fact that the chief of the area claims government failed to pay compensation to them.

For instance, last year, when an issue of encroachment arose between the commission and the landlords over the ownership of the land, the then sector Minister, Mike Hammah visited the scene to ensure that peace prevail.

He told the then Director General of the commission, Prof. Edward Akaho, to ensure that the GAEC was fenced in order to protect the remaining of the land.

However Mr. Owusu-Agyeman, during a tour of the area following a report to the ministry about the issue of encroachment, stressed the need for immediate intervention due to the seriousness of the matter.

He lamented that apart from the health implication, the nuclear reactor itself was in danger.

“We are going to collaborate with the Ministry of Science and Technology to know when to start the demolishing exercise,” he said.

According to the Deputy Minister, his visit was to establish the truth about the complaints of the degree of the encroachment.

The Minister and his entourage during the tour expressed shock at the level of the encroachment especially the speed at which the developers were constructing huge mansions on the lands.

At the end of the tour, the minister stressed the need for a collaboration effort to fence the entire 2,002 acres of the GAEC’s land adding that with the provision of the barricade, no developer could have access to the land.

The Director General, GAEC, Professor Benjamin J.B. Nyarko lamented that despite various efforts by the management and government to warn Ghanaians about the dangers of staying close to the Nuclear Reactor, and the threat such approach pose to the future of the country, the developers seem to be paying no attention to them.

Prof. Nyarko said the country stood the risk of being sanctioned by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if it violated the nuclear treaties and conventions it had signed with international bodies.

The GAEC was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 204) in 1963.

The main functions of the Commission include the promotion of the development and utilization of the peaceful application of nuclear and biotechnological techniques for economic and social advancement of Ghana.

In pursuance of these objectives the Commission has established 3 Institutes and 5 Centres which carry out appropriate research activities.

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