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MARINE DRIVE PROJECT: Kawukudi squatters evicted to pave way for arts center

Hundreds of squatters at Kawukudi, a suburb in Accra have been rendered homeless. The displaced persons are yet to recover from their loss following a demolition that razed down their structures to accommodate traders being relocated from the Arts Center to make way for the marine drive project.

Squatters at the Kawukudi Brigade woke up not to the usual chirpings by the birds in the morning but rather, the roaring and earth-trembling sounds of bulldozers ripping roofs and razing down structures. [insert visuals/sounds]

Over 80 structures were razed to the ground rendering about 140 squatters homeless. A few who didn’t have the super powers to stop the heavy duty machinery from demolishing their homes, only stood and watch, and after, collected some items to console themselves – Roofing sheets, mattresses, woods and other items.

The traumatizing event compelled many to vent their anger against government. Speaking to GHOne News, squatters who had little or no option at all as to where next to go, lamented.

In a voice ladened with grief they indicated government failed to meet up with the GHS3,000 compensation promised them. Rather, they got a paltry sum. But, Community Liaison Officer of the Marine Drive Project, Nii Adjei Tawiah dismissed the claims.

In an attempt to save his wares, a young man fell from the roof of his structure and collapsed on the spot. He was rushed by the police to the nearest hospital.

Barring any last-minute hitch, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture together with Interior Ministry brokered a deal with squatters at the Arts and Crafts Centre in Accra to move to a different location for the 1.5 billion dollar Public-Private Partnership Project to transform the beachfront from the Osu Christianborg Castle to the Art Centre into a vibrant business and commercial enclave. The project we are told would employ 150,000 people.

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