While one would have thought that District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies are the ones to uphold in high esteem the laws of this country and further enact by-laws for its residents to follow to ensure a disciplined and well-regulated society, it is unfortunate that in the Ashaiman Municipality, the reverse is being done.
The Ashaiman Municipal Assembly that has the responsibility of ensuring that government properties are jealously protected has defied all odds and instead built a one-story fleet of stores on the main Ghana Water pipeline that stretches from Kpong through Ashaiman to Accra.
According to the Ghana Water company, the pipeline which stretches from Kpong in the Eastern region to the Greater Accra Region has been in existence for well over 55 years and as such, elapsed its required lifespan.
According to the Managing Director (MD) of the Ghana Water company, Ing. Clifford Braimah, it has become necessary for the replacement of portions of the Ghana Water pipeline because it has outlived its actual service period of 30 years.
He said encroachment on the pipeline and its reservations are quite dangerous.
“As a company we plan about 25 years ahead, taking into consideration population growth and all that; so, these pipelines are huge and carry huge volumes of water so if people encroached on them and to the extent of building on them it makes it dangerous.”
Ing. Braimah mentioned that “it is worrying that in some cases people have erected story buildings on these main pipelines. Believe me if any portion of this pipeline that has story buildings erected on it burst there will be a major disaster at hand as the high current of water that passes through this pipeline can cause the collapse of these buildings”.
Interestingly, in Ashaiman a long portion that has this pipeline buried has been encroached upon by the Municipal Assembly without recourse to the safety of these pipelines.
Although one can visibly see Ghana Water company pillars on the reservation ostensibly to send a signal to developers to stay off the reserved area, the Municipal Assembly has defied this signage and has put up about 60 stores up for future rentals.
Some artisans who occupied the place before the project started said they are disappointed in the Assembly.
“Why should the Chief Executive, Albert Boakye Okyere supervise such illegality. He must be called for questioning because this is so bad. He is endangering not just the future occupants of the stores but the people living in the entire area as well as people within the Greater Accra region who depend on this pipeline for water.” A welder who claimed anonymity said.
Interestingly, checks at the Assembly prove that the said project did not go through the laid down Assembly planning structures before putting up the structures. Although the project is being undertaken on a public land it is been done at the blind side if the Assembly; bringing into question the legality of the project.
According to an Assembly Member at the Ashaiman Municipality Assembly and a member of the Works committee who claimed anonymity “ordinary such a project must go through the Works or planning committee before permit can be given for execution but the Ashaiman Municipality Assembly has failed to do the needful. This is a public land and a reservation for Ghana Water Company so under no circumstances should any project be carried out in such a land but here we are that certain people have formed cartel at the Assembly and Ashaiman as a whole to engage in this illegality.
The angry Assembly Member said “we are unhappy with the numerous illegalities that are being perpetuated in Ashaiman under this incumbent Municipal Chief Executive, Albert Boakye Okyere regarding several building springing up on unauthorized spaces with impunity with connivance from some of our own big men at the Assembly. This must stop and perpetrators brought to book. I pray the President will institute a thorough investigate into some of these things in Ashaiman and Ghanaians will be surprised at the level of rot that will be seen in Ashaiman,” he noted
Last week, some residents and the Assembly Member for NiiDoku Electoral Area, Yusuf Gariba called on the President and the appointing Authorities to remove the incumbent Municipal Chief Executive, Albert Boakye Okyere since his tenure as MCE has not seen any positive development in Ashaiman.
Some residents have also threatened to embark on series of demonstration should the incumbent Municipal Chief Executive is retained because he has failed to live up to expectation.
Meanwhile the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecelia AbenaDapaa has ordered for a full-scale encroachment audit on the 46.5-kilometre-long pipeline of the Ghana Water company from Kpong to Accra.
The audit, she said has become necessary because of the high level of encroachment on the pipeline reservation of the Ghana Water company.
“I am calling for a full-scale encroachment audit on the 46.5-kilometer-long pipeline of the Ghana Water Company to ward off encroachers who have encroached on the pipeline to help save the 55-year-old line from total collapse. We shall seek the support of the District and Municipal Assemblies to help in that regard to get rid of encroachers who have built on the Ghana Water pipelines” she said.
The Ghana water company on April 4th 2021 issued out a public notice that there will be interruption in water supply from Thursday 22nd to 25th of April 2021 for routine maintenance on the 120-metre-long portion of the 42-inch pipeline from the Kpong Treatment Plant.
The repair work according to the Water Company has become necessary in order to ensure that reliable service is provided to Ghanaians.