Buildings In Katamanso Forest Face Demolition

The fate that befell several hundreds of residents in parts of Adjei Kojo, where over 200 houses were pulled down for alleged illegal occupancy is about happening at the Katamanso Forest, where over 100 acres of the Reserve has been taken over by developers.

Large vegetation cover of the famous Katamanso Forest, which is a reserve for games and used to accommodate the Ga-Adangme gods, has been depleted. The fast encroachment on the Forest has, thus, left the green land barren and open for more developers.

Mr. Anthony Nukpenu, who is the Presiding Member (PM) at the Kpone-Katamanso District Assembly (KKDA) has bemoaned the destruction of the Katamanso Forest, warning that properties on the Forest land shall be demolished.

“Due to our own irresponsible conducts and behaviours as Ghanaians, some towns cannot have access to drinking water because our own callous behaviour has destroyed our vegetation and forest.  “The activities of galamsey operators have totally depleted our forests and polluted our water bodies,” Anthony Nukpenu bemoaned.

The KKDA PM gave the warning when a section of the media toured the depleted forest by the sons of the royal family of the Afotey-Agbo clan of Katamanso. Mr. Nukpenu explained that KKDA would engage the Forestry Commission, Lands Commission and Ministry of Tourism in a crunch meeting, and one of the proposals KKDA would put forward will be the engagement of the services of surveyors to quantify the number of houses that have been built in the Katamanso Forest.

He said KKDA would demolish any house or property that would be found on the Forest land after the two miles of the Reserve had been surveyed. The KKDA PM indicated that about a fortnight ago, the assembly’s taskforce was in the Forest to stop some developers after the developers defied notices that they had encroached on the Katamanso Forest. Some land guards, he said, chased the task force out.

“This time, we are not going to sit idle as these land guards and developers continue to deplete the historical Forest. We are going to meet as an assembly, then hold a meeting with the appropriate state securities to help us flush out the land guards from the Forest. Thereafter, we will move in as an assembly to demolish any structure or properties on the Reserved land,” Anthony Nukpenu noted.

Joshua Kwei Laryea, son of Royal Family of Katamanso, on his part, warned that the family would rise to protect the Forest. He wondered why some irresponsible people would sell part of the Forest to developers, “when we the children and family and custodians of the Forest are keeping it for generations and the State?”

He fingered the chief of their nearest neighbour, in the Adentan Municipality, for the wanton sale of the over 100 acres of the Forest to developers. Joseph Kwei Laryea recollected how three years ago, a joint security personnel patrolled the boundaries of the Forest to protect it from encroachment.

The family, he said, also engaged in the protection of the land; however, he believed that complacency on their part has caused them the depletion. He said: “We are going to get the land guards unemployed from today. We will march them boot for boot in this Forest.”  Kwei Laryea added, “Since the land guards want blood bath, we will grant them their request.”

From Inusa Musah,  Katamanso

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