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General News of Thursday, 29 March 2001

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle -Kafui Gale-Zoyiku

Demolish Sodom And Gomorrah

Hon. E. T. Mensah (NDC - Ningo) has called for the immediate demolition of the Accra ghetto called Sodom and Gomorrah. Contributing to the motion for the approval of ?209,478,797,778 for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, he said the Korle Lagoon Restoration Project embarked upon by the previous government can only succeed if the ghetto created on the banks of the lagoon in Accra is demolished.

Continuing, Mensah, one time mayor of Accra said, the greatest problem facing the city is its unplanned nature which has been further worsened by the inability to enforce the laws on development as stated in the Local Government bye-laws.

He explained that, a survey undertaken in 1992 to determine the number of approved houses proved that of the 380,000 completed buildings in the city, only 15 per cent have approved legal permits. He, therefore, called for the strengthening of the planning units of the assemblies.

Their absence, he explained, has led to the encroachment on the green belts and community playgrounds that were part of the city's original plan in 1950. Quoting the Holy Bible, Mensah who until January, this year, was the Minister of Youth and Sports said keeping the environment clean is one of the infunctions in the Bible saying whenever one finds oneself is his own Garden of Eden and so it must be kept as such. Nana Akomea (NPP - Okaikoi South) expressed his happiness over government's decision to re-introduce the health inspectors who were mandated to prosecute those who do not keep their environment clean. He also called for the upgrading of the six sub-metros in Accra to full metro status. He based his argument on the size of the sub-metros which are bigger than Koforidua, for example, but which enjoys full metro status.

Accra's sub-metro, he explained, cannot sign cheques of more than ?50,000 which entails them to apply to the AMA for the release of such an amount to buy basic working tools for the cleaning of the sub-metros. He also called for clear modalities on the relationship between the MPs and District Chief Executives (DCEs) Nkrabeah Effa-Dartey (NPP - Berekum) on his part called for the provision of more toilet facilities in Berekum township of 59,000 population, which presently has only three public toilets.

However, Mr. Sallas Mensah (NDC - Upper West) and the former Sports Minister told him that the previous government has made it a policy whereby each landlord was mandated to provide facilities for the disposal of both solid and liquid waste. Sitting continues.

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