Ghana’s Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has assured the people of Agbogbloshie of the Akufo-Addo government’s plans to not only abandon the idea of evicting them, but to also provide them with social amenities and generally develope the area.
Dr Bawumia has also assured the traders at the Agbogbloshie market, especially yam, onion and plantain sellers, of plans to redevelop their sheds and provide a better trading environment for them.
Dr Bawumia gave the assurance when he paid a working visit to the area on Thursday, 19 September 2019, during which he interacted with traders, itinerant female head porters (Kayayei) and the residents of Agbogbloshie and took keen note of their challenges.
Explaining the rationale behind his visit, Dr Bawumia insisted, “Slum dwellers’ lives matter. Every life matters to the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. It is the view of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that you are Ghanaians and you deserve to live and enjoy the services of government just like any other Ghanaian will enjoy. In the philosophy of President Akufo-Addo, the life of one Ghanaian is not more important than the life of the other. Every Ghanaian matters. And we are here because the people living at Agbobloshie and old Fadama also matter.”
“The life of the child living at Old Fadama is as equally important as the life of the child living at East Legon. We have to think about, and help the poor and vulnerable in society no matter where they live”, the Vice-President declared.
Dr Bawumia announced a number of key interventions for the area, including a skills-training programme for up to 2,000 Kayayei, the construction of four 8-seater Enviro-loo toilets, 80 bath houses, a kindergarten, installation of streetlights and digital addresses on homes. The Vice-President also announced plans by the government to pave the floor of the markets, especially the yam, plantain and onion markets, redevelop their sheds and provide a 23 cubic meter refuse container to address sanitation challenges.
“Security is an important aspect of human life. Agbobloshie is a community with a population of over 120,000 people. Because of its high level of informality, it is characterised by petty crimes and grand offences. It cannot be right that a community of this nature does not have a befitting police station. As I said when I visited the police post here, we are going to provide a fit-for-purpose police station for you to help in the fight against crime,” the Vice-President disclosed.
He assured, “We are not saying that we are going to solve all your problems overnight but we are going to do what no other government has done before and provide the critical social services that will make life livable in this community.”
Dr Bawumia was accompanied by a number of government officials including Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Minister of Inner-City and Zongo Development; Dominic Nitiwul, Minister of Defence; Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior; Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development; Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, Minister of Works and Housing, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation; Nii Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, as well as NPP officials including Mr Sammi Awuku, National Organiser of the NPP.