Scores of youth from La, Teshie and Osu have on Tuesday November 22, marched against what they described as seizure of their land by the government.
Accra-based Class FM reports that there is heavy military presence at Accra’s army enclave of Burma Camp through to Teshie. The march was led by the Coalition of La Youth Association (COLA) with compatriots from Teshie, Osu and Nungua joining to press home their demand.
According to the group, there was very little consultation with the people about the Marine Drive Project, a multi-million dollar project collaboration by government and private developers to boost tourism along Accra’s coastline. However, residents fear the project will lead to their displacement and traditional lands.
The group is demanding that government should among other things “scale back the extent of the acreage for the Marine Drive Project, and instead develop the remaining acreage for the indigenous Osu and Ga peoples to meet their dire communal needs of up-to-date and real affordable housing, schools, clinics, fish markets, cold storage facilities, smokehouses, landing beach, and boat launching ramps, and a cultural and heritage centre.”
What is the Marine Drive Project?
The project is jointly financed by three Chinese companies and will be situated on land stretching from the Osu Castle through the Independence Square to the Arts Centre in Accra.
The Marine Drive project will have tourist resorts with facilities such as hotels, shopping malls, casinos, office complex and theme parks among others.
Other components in the project include a mini-golf course, 15-floor office complex for the Ministry of Tourism, conference and exhibition centres as well as a recreational centre and a beach football pitch.
The project, when completed, is expected to attract more investment in trade and improve tourism in addition to generating revenue and employment and increase foreign exchange earnings.
Gentrification is growing in many parts of Ghana’s capital with many previously low income areas taken over by private developers to build high rise apartments and hotels, forcing house prices in these area and cost of living.