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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Bawku conflict is affecting us – Bolgatanga residents

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Bawku conflict is affecting us - Bolgatanga residentsResidents of Bolgatanga are worried about the unending chaotic situation in Bawku, the hitherto economic hub of the Upper East Region, because cost of living in this low budget city is sky rocketing, according to a Ghana News Agency survey.

They also argue that government seemed not to have the solution to the lingering chaos which claims several lives anytime the fragile peace in the border town breaks.

The views sampled by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga indicated that facilities in the regional capital were being overstretched as the cost of living shot up.

“It has created mountains of problems for the Bolgatanga Municipality considering the high cost of a piece of land in the area,” argues Mr. Henry Adivila, a Marketing and Sales agent.

He contended that land owners were taking advantage of the desperation of land buyers especially, those from Bawku to make huge profits thereby depriving the average and low income residents’ access to land to develop into residential accommodation.

“Rent has also doubled and landlords are now giving out rooms to the highest bidder irrespective of who the potential tenant is”, he added.

However, the GNA has gathered that some land owners refuse to sell land to people from Bawku no matter how much money they offer to them, because of fear of insecurity now and in future.

A native of Dorongo, near Bolgatanga who pleaded anonymity said the community members had agreed in principle that no one would sell land to people from Bawku “because we are peaceful people and we do not trust that they can live with us here peacefully.”

Mr. Musah Lansah, a broadcast journalist and host of Prime Show on Style FM, a community radio station in Bolgatanga, observed that the sporadic conflict in Bawku had shifted some businesses from border town to Bolgatanga thus boosting business and buoying the city’s economy.

He mentioned a number of businessmen and businesswomen and traders who had left Bawku and were faring well with their businesses in Bolgatanga.

“Unfortunately, in spite of this economic gain, cost of living is becoming too high affecting everything including rent.” he said.

Alhaji Abdul Razak who was among the first group of people from Bawku to settle in Bolgatanga to do business, said doing business in Bolgatanga was a better option because the area was peaceful.

He however disagreed with the assertion that the cost of land had shot up due to the fleeing Bawku residents.

The businessman argued that Ghana had generally prospered economically since it went democratic and so Banks had flocked into the country giving out loans at unprecedented levels which helps people to climb the property ladder

“People take advantage of the facility and residential accommodation becomes one of the most important things they seek first, hence the rush for land and subsequent economic realities setting in,” he stated.

He argued that apart from strengthening the economic situation in the Bolgatanga Municipality, the people from Bawku who had decided to settle in town of their refuge were putting up some of the beautiful houses in the city adding to its beauty.

Alhaji Razak indicated that most of the Bawku people who trade in Bolgatanga were living in the area temporarily and would move back to Bawku whenever the situation got better.

“Some of them do not enjoy doing business here because they say business in Bolga was too slow”, he added.

The GNA has gathered that prices of land have shot up by extreme margins recently in the Bolgatanga Municipality.

A piece of land within the city which sold for GH¢700 three years ago, now sells for between GH¢2,600 and GH¢3,000 while a parcel of land at the city outskirts goes for between GH¢1400 and GH¢2000.

Monthly rent for single rooms without essential facilities like toilet and tap water which went for between GH¢5 and GH¢7 now goes for between GH¢15 and GH¢20.

Those with all the essential facilities had now increased from between GH¢10 GH¢35, a situation which some residents insist was caused by the influx of people from Bawku.

Prices of essentials such as provisions have also shot up. The price of gadgets and clothes mostly sold by the Bawku migrants are reasonably priced.

Source: GNA

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