The ongoing reclamation activity at the Takoradi Harbour has left a number of fishermen, fish mongers and a lot other community members jobless. They told this paper that the reclamation has caused massive erosion along the beaches, destroying the landing sites and making it quite difficult for them to engage in any meaningful fishing activity.
According to the aggrieved fishermen and community folks, although the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority was well aware of the negative and destructive impact of the expansion on the community made no effort at conducting any Social Impact Assessment before commencement.
Substantiating these claims, the Assembly Member for Lower New Takoradi, Honourable Emmanuel Adoko, said, “the Authorities do not care about the people who have lost their means of livelihood due to the expansion project”.
Honourable Adoko, who was not surprised at the Port Authority’s neglect of the community, continued that, “there is not a single facility or social programme in this community these port authorities can boast of as being their initiative or something they’ve supported with”.
Speaking on the extent of damage the reclamation exercise had caused, the Assembly Member disclosed that the issue was more devastating than it appeared to be “…because currently, we do not have any landing sites for fishermen to dock their boats”.
According to Gifty Mensah, a fish monger, the Takoradi Port Authorities would never willingly put in place any mitigating measures to alleviate their plight.
She therefore called for government’s intervention in ensuring that the Port does the right thing.
But in a telephone interview with The New Crusading Guide, the Public Relations Officer of the Takoradi GPHA, Mrs. Agnes Dennis-Moses, denied not engaging the community.
She said some sort of sensitization on the expansion project was recently held for the community.
When this paper sought to inquire further as to whether the said sensitization programme constituted the organization’s Social Impact Assessment, Mrs. Dennis-Moses became angry and dropped the line, bringing the interview to an abrupt end.
Meanwhile, this paper has gathered that, following the port’s refusal to carry out a Social Impact Assessment on the project, the community in December last year, presented certain demands to the port authorities.
Their demands included the construction of a new landing beach, a slipway, a marine mechanical shop and a technical and vocational school.
The port authorities are yet to respond to the demands.
source : Lucy Baagyei-Danso | New Crusading Guide