On Saturday, a task force from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, which included the police department and Ghanaian military, demolished parts of Agbogbloshie, also known as Sodom and Gomorrah, Accra’s biggest slum.
60,000 people reside in this slum and they are mostly migrants from the Northern region of Ghana, according to reports. President John Dramani Mahama warned residents of the illegality of the housing developments because they are being built along the city’s drainage system.
This demolition is in response to the recent flooding and fire disaster in Accra. The Ghanian government authorized these demolitions under the guise of building and city regulations.
The Speaker of Parliament has summoned the Local Government Minister Collins Dauda to explain to Parliament the reason for the ongoing demolition exercise which has led thousands of residents living in Sodom and Gomorrah to be displaced.
The summons follows protests by the Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul, who said the demolition exercise could pose national security risks.
Some protesters have warned the Ghanaian government that they may resort to insurgency in response to the demolition and subsequent displacement.
With Ghana experiencing its rainy season it is feared that more floods could further destroy lives and properties of these residents.
Homeless residents at Old Fadama in Accra whose houses were demolished have occupied the State House demanding to see the President about their grievances.
About 500 residents took to the streets and blocked some of the major roads in Accra, particularly the ceremonial road around National Theatre, before making their way to the State House. Sources on the ground say that the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) was behind agitating the mob to protest.
The protests eventually turned violent, resulting in some journalists being attacked and the destruction of some public properties.
A Joy News reporter, Latiff Iddrisu, sustained minor injuries from the assault as some police vehicles had their door glasses shattered.
Sodom and Gomorrah, formally known as Agbogbloshie, is a former wetland and suburb of Accra, Ghana known as a destination for locally generated used electronics from the City of Accra. It has been alleged to be at the center of a legal and illegal exportation network for the environmental dumping of electronic waste from industrialized nations.