The threat to demolish follows the June 3 twin flood and fire disaster which claimed about 159 lives.
The Special Task Force set up by the government to clear illegal structures along watercourses in Accra says it will continue the demolition exercise, in spite of the protests by the displaced residents of Sodom and Gomorrah
According to the task force, which is spearheaded by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), although the displaced persons had expressed their views, their actions would not prevent it from continuing the exercise.
“We will continue the exercise until we finish because as of now, we need to dredge the Korle Lagoon and as such, we need space for the excavators to move freely. We cannot [therefore] say that the demonstration will halt the exercise. It is not possible unless we are done with what we intend to do and that is the dredging of the Korle Lagoon”, the Public Relations Officer of the AMA, Numo Blafo, said.
Sodom and Gomorrah is the biggest slum community in Accra and home to more than 70,000 low-income earners, mostly from northern Ghana.
Although there is no record of how the settlement, named after the Biblical anecdote of Sin City because of the harsh living conditions and rampant crime, was set up, the community has served as a dumping ground for waste, especially scrap metals and electronic waste materials.
Located on the banks of the Korle Lagoon, northwest of Accra's Central Business District (CBD), residents also come from various communities in the country, who are mostly engaged in one form of trade or another.
Besides the inhabitants in the area, the community, which is also a business centre, houses very vibrant onion, timber and scrap metal markets from where items bought were distributed across the country.
Structures, mostly made of wood, are often meant for temporary sheds but in no time, they become permanent homes for the inhabitants and then gradually spread like wildfire along the banks of the lagoon.