Some residents of Apegusu and Mpakadan in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region are raising serious concerns over the neglect of affected residents and the lack of insecurity in the ongoing railway construction project in the area.
They said non-payment of compensation coupled with the poor management of natural resources in the areas is a great cause of worry to the inhabitants in the area.
The 97.6 kilometre Tema Mpakadan railway project was started in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by November 2021 but little is seen to be done to address compensation of affected residents.
Mr Kingsley Darko, spokesperson of the aggrieved residents in an interview on Freedom Radio’s ‘’Yen Man’’ show hosted by Kwaku Aboagye Apenteng said they are unhappy at the rate at which the locals are being taken advantage of by contractors constructing the Tema Mpakadan railway project.
He indicated that they are not against the railway development project but per the minerals and mining explosive regulation 2012 –LI 2177 the contractors are not being followed.
It has been revealed that several buildings within Mpakadan and Apegusu have suffered serious structural defects which is a worry to the affected persons who claim not to have received any compensation for the damages caused them.
Mr Darko then called for urgent steps to be taken by the government to call all contractors working around the Apegusu and Mpakadan stretch to order as serious measures will be taken to stop the project if their concerns are not addressed.
He said the construction of a railway has made it impossible to access their farms due to the elevation of the railway line, which can result in many dying of hunger.
He then cautioned the company to put measures to compensate all the affected person’s and put safety and security measures in place by the laws of the country.
Nana Gyan Oduro Dapaa II, Akwamu Senchi Adontinhene and chairman of the Akwamu Railway development committee in an interview said when the time is due for the award the compensation the services of NADMO, EPA, consultants, experts will be sought to evaluate the magnitude of the damages caused.
He explained that those that have their roofs destroyed, temporarily have a plastic rubber being used to cover to serve as a roof, which is being changed periodically so that rain and sun will not destroy it.
Adding that, the 15 people whose houses were damaged have a place rented for them in the meantime.
Nana Dapaa II said the buildings that have core damages to the foundation would be pulled down and rebuilt, however, the ones with cracks that do not affect the entire building will be fixed to enable its owners to use them.
‘’We have told the contractors we don’t want them to use inferior materials when working on the affected buildings to cause future problems’’, he said.
He said the committee has deliberated with the community members and have assured them that we will ensure all affected persons get what is due to them.