Regional News of 2008-07-12

Improve Osu, Awodome cemeteries security - GEAA urges AMA

Accra, Jul 12, GNA - The Ghana Environmental Awareness Association (GEAA), a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) has called on the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to improve the management and security of the Osu and Awodome Cemeteries in Accra. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after an inspection of the two cemeteries by members of the Association, Mr. Theophilus Neequaye Djanie Magoah, National Organiser of GEAA, urged the Assembly to ensure the proper land management of the graveyards to last longer. He noted that, from the haphazard way land at the cemeteries were being used, "It would not be a long time from now and there will be nowhere to bury the dead".

Mr. Djanie Magoah suggested to the AMA to adopt the management practice of the Military Cemetery adjacent to the Osu Cemetery to economise land use at the two graveyards and to improve their scenic and aesthetic view.

"The cemetery is the final resting place for man and relatives should not encounter any difficulty in locating the graves of their late loved ones just to drop a flower", Mr. Djanie Magoah stated. He expressed the concern of the GEAA about the activities of grave looters and blamed them on the lack of adequate security at the cemeteries especially in the night.

The Association appealed to the AMA to beef up its Sexton Unit and to provide more security personnel at the cemeteries, which he said had become the "The den of thieves, robbers and drug peddlers". The GEAA also urged the Police-Military night patrol teams to extend their activities to the cemeteries to assist the security personnel stationed there. Mr. Djanie Magoah said the Association had purchased some electricity poles and accessories to help provide lights at the cemeteries to curb the activities of the grave looters and other criminals.

He called for a meeting of the traditional authorities, churches, Moslem groups and other stakeholders with the AMA to find a solution to the security and land management problems at the cemeteries. Mr. Djanie Magoah said the NGO with the assistance of the Ga West District Assembly had carried out a survey to sink boreholes in the rural communities around the Amasaman area to provide potable water. He stated that the Association was in contact with the German Embassy for funding for the project to curb waterborne diseases in the area.

On behalf of the GEAA he commended the AMA for enforcing its "Stop Work and Remove" order on the development of one of the two buildings, which posed a threat to the public at Cow Lane in Accra. The National Organiser of the Association stated that the GEAA had called the AMA's attention to the danger the two structures posed to the public and noticed that construction had stopped on one with the developer complying with the "Remove" order while the other seemed to have been "Just abandoned". The Association appealed to the Assembly to ensure that the developer of the other building also complies with its order to protect lives and property.