Regional News of Thursday, 28 August 2014

Source: GNA

Community SHS under threat in Ahanta West District

The construction of a Community Senior High School (SHS) at Sankore near Lower Dixcove in the Ahanta West District is under threat following disagreement over payment of compensation to farmers whose crops would be destroyed to pave way for the project.

According to the farmers, the Land Valuation Board (LVB) officials that valuated their crops on the 19-acre land had refused to disclose how much each crop was valued.

The stand-off is delaying the project which would provide opportunity for students in rural communities in the area to gain second cycle education.

Mr. Nicolas Ackah, one of the farmers, told journalists in Takoradi that the affected farmers met LVB officials, the district chief executive and the coordinating director last Friday August 22 to finalise documentation towards payment of compensation to the affected farmers.

However, he said, the farmers refused to append their signature to the document regarding payment of compensation because the LVB officials refused to disclose the rate per each crop.

He said they had been farming on the land for years and relinquishing the land for the project without commensurate compensation would worsen the plight of farmers and their families.

Mr. Ackah also appealed to the government to provide an alternative source of livelihood for the farmers when the land is finally secured for the project.

He said that education was good and would open the area for investment but should not be done at the expense of the farmers.

The District Chief Executive of the area, Mr. Joseph Dofoyenah, expressed agreement with the farmers that the LVB should disclose the rate per each crop to ensure transparency and mutual understanding.

He said the assembly would work closely with the farmers and valuers to arrive at a consensus.