Appeal Demolish Sodom and Gomorrah with “human face” - IDEC

The demolition follows government’s decision to prevent another occurrence of the June 3 flood and fire disasters which claimed over 150 lives.

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Sodom and Gomorrah demolished play

Sodom and Gomorrah demolished

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The Integrated Development and Empowerment Centre of Ghana (IDEC Ghana) is appealing to the “conscience” of President John Mahama to “compel the AMA mayor to add human face to the demolition exercise” at Sodom and Gomorrah.

Over one thousand homes were destroyed last Saturday in Ghana’s biggest shanty town as the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) undertook a demolition exercise rendering a lot of people homeless.

The affected individuals took to the streets on Monday morning to demonstrate against the AMA. The entrance of the State House and some vehicles within the premises were vandalised by the angry residents. According to reports, the groups picketed at various spots including the Parliament House, State House, AMA office and the Agbogbloshie Market.

The demolition follows government’s decision to prevent another occurrence of the June 3 flood and fire disasters which claimed over 150 lives. Many have said that the flood was caused by structures built on waterways.

A statement signed by Samuel K. Agbotsey, Executive Director of IDEC Ghana recommended that the country adopts “national evictions and demolition policy” to guide exercises of such nature.

Below is their full statement on the Sodom and Gomorrah saga:

We at IDEC Ghana and all believers in Human Rights deeply Sympathized with the people of OLD FADAMA and pray to God to give them strength to go through this turbulent moment in their lives while we put together a team to defend their Rights.

We pray and appeal to the Conscience of His Excellency the President to compel the A.M.A. Mayor to add human face to the demolition Exercise he is currently undertaking.

At the last Mensah Guinea demolishing exercise (which we condemned), we at IDEC Ghana gave some recommendations to be followed in any further demolition exercise:

1) That the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Government of Ghana adopt a National Evictions and Demolition Policy that conforms to international standards. This policy should include provisions covering notice, access to basic shelter, food, safe drinking water, sanitation and medical care, accommodation for those evicted, timing of evictions, evicting only where it is absolutely necessary, consulting with the community on evictions.

2) That Evictions and Demolitions be done in Collaborate with key State Institutions such as NADMO, National Security and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. This is necessary in developing an appropriate procedure and mechanism to minimize the effects of the eviction and demolishing if it should be carried out in the first place.
We will like the MAYOR of Accra to help answer the following questions;

1) Is it too difficult to implement the recommendations above?

2) In carrying out this demolishing, have we considered children who are writing their BECE Exams?

3) Have we considered the season - the raining season?

4) Have we considered how properties of these affected people are to be dealt with? Etc.

Before we commence any legal action against the Evictions and Demolitions Exercise , we call on the President; His Excellency John Mahama to call the Major to order and compile him to respect the constitution of Ghana and human rights conventions, protocols and resolution of the UN and African Charter on Human and People's Rights which Ghana gladly signed.

Finally, we humbly appeal to the affected individuals and families to remain calm in this difficult situation and not to take the law into their own hands by resulting to violence which might worsen their genuine concerns while we seek the face of the His Excellency the President and the Law.

....Signed.....
Samuel K. Agbotsey
Executive Director.
IDEC Ghana

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