Construction of Obetsebi Lamptey Interchange: Stakeholders discuss resettlement plan for property owners

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
 Patricia Onyina-Antwi, Senior Environmental and Social Consultant of SLR Ghana, speaking to the media after the engagement with the public
Patricia Onyina-Antwi, Senior Environmental and Social Consultant of SLR Ghana, speaking to the media after the engagement with the public

Discussions are ongoing to find appropriate compensation for persons affected by the construction of the Obetsebi Lamptey Interchange.

The discussions, meant to find ways to address the impact of the construction on the affected persons, included a meeting last Thursday attended by the Department of Urban Roads, QG Construction Limited and SLR, an environmental consultancy company.

It engaged the affected persons to address valuations and compensations, vulnerability and livelihood restoration issues in a comprehensive resettlement action plan.

For valuation, affected persons may be given the option of either cash compensation or replacement of assets.

Vulnerability involves individuals, households or groups of people who are proportionately affected by the land acquisition and resettlement process based on their gender, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, economic disadvantage, or social status within their community.

Affected persons

At the meeting, some affected property owners complained about excessive dust, blockage of some roads and delay in compensation.

“We know that at the beginning of the project, authorities undertook all the necessary assessment; we wonder why compensation processes are still ongoing,” Kojo Antwi, a businessman, said.

Resettlement plan

A Senior Environmental and Social Consultant of SLR Ghana, Mrs Patricia Onyina-Antwi, explained that the resettlement plan document must be made public per legal requirement, and said it was to allow suggestions from the public to shape it before the implementation of the second phase.

She said an initial assessment towards compensation had been done, while preliminary valuation was ongoing.

“The process takes a while, so we crave your indulgence to bear with us while we proceed on the project,” she said.

Mrs Onyina-Antwi also noted that apart from compensation, there were resettlement plans for the affected persons.

The Director in Charge of Acquisition and Utilities Coordination at the Department of Urban Roads, Alex Asamoah, urged the affected property owners to exercise patience, promising that eligible affected persons would be compensated.

He explained that they were doing everything possible to avoid inconveniencing motorists, property owners and pedestrians during the construction process.

The Resident Engineer for the project, Owusu Sekyere Antwi, noted that there would be increased frequency of watering of the road to reduce the dust levels.