There is an ongoing dispute over who owns the Ablekuma-Joma lands in the Ga West Municipal Assembly of the Greater Accra region.
The situation is causing tension in the community as ‘land owners’ are in a fix as to what becomes of their properties.
The Ghana Water Resources Commission has jumped into the debate noting that neither Regimanuel Concrete Products Company Limited nor traditional authorities claiming ownership of the lands in that enclave have the locus to do so.
According the Ghana Water Resources Commission the lands under contention is a government property allocated to the commission for its water project in 1977.
Therefore both parties are fighting a lose battle.
In 2015, RCP filed a case against encroachers at the High Court to demolish all unauthorized structures within 500 meters distance of its ‘concession’ based on a provision in the 2012 mining regulation.
Dr. Ronald Abrahams, Chief Basin Officer of Ghana Water Resources Commission indicates that the approach by Regimanuel Concrete Products Limited was a non-starter because both parties are occupying the lands illegally.
According to Dr. Abrahams the land was allocated to the commission by an Executive Instrument 130 of 1977.
Besides the Executive Instrument that establishes that the land under contention belongs to government and allocated for the commission, further checks done by GHOne News indicate that the concession was first licensed in 1987 as development quarry site for a construction company known as Construction Pioneers but the contract expired in 2016 bringing all quarry activities to a permanent closure in the Ablekuma-Joma enclave.
However, Regimanuel Concrete Products Company Limited continues to mine there and argues that it has the requisite licence to remain in business.
Municipal Chief Executive for the Ga West Municipal Assembly, Clement Nii Lamptey Wilkinson is calling for cool heads to prevail to find a lasting solution to the situation.
It is refreshing to note that in January 2012, Nii Ayitey Noyaatse I, Chief of Joma filed a case at the Accra High Court against RCP in respect of the quarry operations. The court ruled against the claims after a search of the area proved that the land still belonged to government and the plaintiff did not have the locus to sue. In that same year, RCP applied to acquire a lease hold for the area, but this was rejected by the court.
RCP QUARRY BLAST: ACTIVITIES HAVING A TOLL ON LEARNING IN ABLEKUMA-JOMA
Pupils of Orchard International School at Ablekuma-Joma in the Ga West Municipal of the Greater Accra region are unhappy about the spate of rock blasting activities in the community.
The pupils want Regimanuel Concrete Products Company Limited to relocate from the community, noting the deafening noise and vibration accompanying the rock blasting activities is detrimental to their health.
A visit to the school showed how the impact of the rock blasting activities from Regimanuel Concrete Products Company Limited is telling on the school walls.
Structural cracks have developed at various sections of the school’s wall, gradually making the school unsafe for habitation.
Some of the pupils who spoke to the news team expressed worry about the blasting, noting they usually get scared when the rock blasting activities starts.
Some claim they sometimes run out of their classrooms for safety. Here are concerns raised by some pupils to GHOne News:
“Sometimes when teaching is in session and the blast happens everybody gets terrified and even and some even run out of the classroom. This distraught the teaching. Some feel scared of the blast because of that they don’t come to school.”
“The blast activity is affecting our lives. When you are in the classroom you even concentrate.”
“Government should relocate them to another place.”
Headmaster of Orchard International School, Martin Abocco recount the ordeal the school is going through and says operations of the quarry company is affecting the quality of teaching and learning in his school.
He claimed several attempts by management of the school to get the company to relocate has proved futile.
“When the pupils are going home, we are always whether they will get safe or not. The government should choose between the inhabitants here and one single investor,” headmaster of the school lamented.
The school established in 2013 was adjourned one of the best schools in the Greater Accra region in 2107 after the first batch of 17 students obtained aggregate six to nine at the Basic School Certificate Examination.
The pupils therefore say ongoing activities by RCP, is likely to thwart their effort if government does not intervene at the next opportune time.
By Samuel Lancelot Boateng, GHOne News