Adjen Kotoku market: Investment gone waste?

BY: Edmund Smith-Asante

It was a well-thought-out plan by the government in 2007 when it decided to relocate the people of Old Fadama, popularly referred to as Sodom and Gomorrah, to Adjen Kotoku in the Ga West Municipality and 25 km to the north of Accra.

Eight years on, however, the plan is still hanging and an alternative project (a bulk breaking market complex), which was completed in 2011 at great cost, is gradually being overtaken by weeds.

It was built as part of a redevelopment project at an initial cost of GH¢172.2 million.

The reason is that the displaced would not fit in the nicely paved market which is made up of two large sheds, rows of shops or stores numbering about 95 and a place of convenience.

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Also, the government is yet to make good its alternative plan of resettling the residents of Old Fadama at a different location in the same municipality so they could make use of the new facility built from 2008 to 2011.

“The plan to bring them to Adjen Kotoku has been there for some time. The challenge has been the acquisition of a land. The land has fully not been acquired and it started in 2007/2008 but unfortunately the then government did not compensate the people who own the land. There was no budget line for it so compensation was a problem,” the MCE of Ga West, Mr Samuel Atukwei Quaye, told the Daily Graphic.

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He said any resettlement plan on the Adjen Kotoku land would have to be preceded by the development of an executive instrument (EI) and an evaluation conducted on the land and properties on it, since due to the delay in compensation, the chiefs had sold the land to others, some of whom had developed the portions bought.

Plan B

According to Mr Quaye, the government was nonetheless considering an alternative, which would speed up the work that was to be done to enable the displaced Old Fadama residents to move to pursue their economic activities, but which did not include residence.

He said the newly constructed market at Adjen Kotoku was only a small part of the project and that the market, which was intended to accommodate all of them, had not been constructed as yet, due to the unavailability of land.

Down memory lane

The new unoccupied Adjen Kotoku market was built by International Marine and Dredging Consultants for the government of Ghana, as part of infrastructure to accommodate traders at Accra’s popular Agbogbloshie market to ease congestion at that market. It comprises superstructures and a free draining platform for loading and unloading of goods and 95 sectional storage units of approximately 30 metres square each with secured locking facilities.

Other completed infrastructure are a new senior high school (SHS), health centre with a reception and waiting room, laboratory and storage room with three consulting rooms and three bed areas; a police station with separate male and female cells, as well as youth cell and offices; a fire station consisting of 10 offices, six toilets, waiting and reception room and two garages with one service pit.

During a facility tour in 2012 involving the then Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Enoch T. Mensah; the Mayor of Accra, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije; and then Metropolitan Chief Executive of Ga West, Mr Nii Armah Tackie, Mr Ewan Terblanche, the project manager, said the project commenced in June 2008, and was successfully completed in November, 2011.

He added that the bulk of services including roads, storm water drains, sewers and electricity had been completed and the area was ready for further development, including housing, industrial and other commercial infrastructure.

While Mr Vanderpuije said he was looking forward to the commencement of the bulk breaking market activity, Mr Mensah stated that the idea of a bulk breaking market to reduce congestion in Accra came about between 1985 and 1986, and was extremely gratified about the effort made to achieve it. He also expressed some concerns about the size of the market facility and suggested that it should be expanded.

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