General News of Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Today’s investigations have uncovered that the lives of some officials occupying state bungalows, mostly in Accra, Keta, Koforidua, Ho, Kade, Takoradi, Kumasi and Tamale are in grave danger.
Today gathered that cracked walls, loose door frames, falling ceilings and animal droppings characterise state bungalow facilities in these areas which need urgent renovation to avert any possible disaster on the occupants, who are mostly government officials.
However, in the face of this looming danger, authorities at the ministry of works and housing are reluctant in closing down these bungalows.
Some occupants of these bungalows told Today in an interview that they are compelled to endure the inhumane conditions because they do not have any alternative place to lay their heads.
In a recent visit to some of these areas, Today discovered that the occupants of these bungalows have improvised a water canal to prevent their rooms from flooding when it rains.
They lamented that “living in facilities like this, we always pray to God to protect us because it is very dangerous to live in such a situation. It is very risky to live here.”
At Labone, North Ridge, Cantonments, Roman Ridge all in Accra, Today observed that almost the entire ceiling of state bungalows in these areas have been eaten away by the bats, hastening the deterioration process.
The deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Mrs. Freda Prempeh, in a recent interview admitted that the rate of deterioration of government bungalows which housed some public officials was dangerous and worrying.
She expressed concerns about the terrible state of government bungalows across the country.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines after inspecting some government bungalows at Koforidua in the Eastern Region recently, the deputy minister expressed displeasure about the development, saying “I am not happy about what I have seen.”
She added that “It seems the problem basically runs through in all other regions. We’ve experienced some of these problems in Accra. I experienced the same thing in Takoradi on Monday and I have just started my tour in Koforidua and it is basically the same problem.”
According to her, persons occupying these bungalows have developed a laissez faire attitude towards maintenance, a situation she described as worrying.
“I have always said that if it is a government bungalow it is your identity and that is where you live but because the word government is part of the system, people feel they can do anything with it and that is not good for us.”
She believes the situation could compel government to use tax payers’ money to bring the bungalows “back to life.”
Mrs. Prempeh also charged all the regional coordinating directors and estate officers to ensure that retired government workers who are still occupying government bungalows hand them over to be used by new recruits.
“I want to tell those in charge, the RCC to ensure that those who are not suppose to be in government bungalows leave the place for other people to fill in and also ensure that the tenants maintain the bungalows that have been allocated to them.”
The Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Samuel Atta-Akyea, had earlier stated that cronies of some public officials were occupying state bungalows without paying rent.
Mr. Atta-Akyea stated that there was an ongoing audit of such properties and those who fail to justify paying their rent will be kicked out in three months.