CSIR fight gov’t over Pokuase land for displaced Sodom and Gomorrah residents

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is set to clash with government over plans to resettle displaced residents of Sodom and Gomorrah on a land which the Institute insists is meant for agricultural research.

Director of the Animal Research Institute of the CSIR Dr. E. K. Adu says the parcel of land is for pasture and livestock research where two breeds of cattle are under study.

In effect, the land is “non”-negotiable”, he maintains.

For over a 1,000 displaced residents of Old Fadama, there seem to be no relief in sight for the slum dwellers.

Efforts by government to build a new settlement for them at Adjin Kotoku have stalled after residents there secured an injunction against the state for taking over their lands.

Following that, government had indicated its intention to compulsorily acquire the land to develop.

But spokesperson of the Landlords Association Joseph Yaw Fankibi told Joy news they will resist that because they have enough documents to back their claim to the land.

Government is believed to be eyeing a new site identified at Pokuase in the Ga West Municipal to resettle the displaced residents. Municipal Chief Executive Sam Atukwei Quaye says the new location is a better option.

But the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research which owns the land is kicking against the move. The CSIR says it is undertaking research on the land which will be destroyed if the displaced residents move there.

Dr. Adu says the Council has rejected letters from the Municipal Assembly requesting for 19.6 acres of their land.

“We have told them about a 100 times, it is not possible”, the Director stressed. He suggested that attempts by government to take over the land demonstrates little appreciation for the role of science in national development.

“A lot of them don’t understand what we are doing” he stated and expressed fears that the use of the land for economic activity “will destroy trials”.

“We don’t need to have people interfere with our work”, he stressed.

The MCE however maintained that the CSIR does not have the final say over the land. According to the MCE, there will be a time when government will consider and take a decision on the Pokuase land.

“He [Dr. Adu] would not speak the way he is speaking when that time comes” the MCE stated.

While some of the residents are still thinking about resettlement in Accra, others have returned to parts of the Northern region where ethnic clashes in the early 1990s forced them down south.

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