Christianborg Castle, Osu
Christianborg Castle, Osu

Klottey Korle: A mix of middle class and slum dwellers

Created at the inception of the Fourth Republic, the Klottey Korle Constituency in the Greater Accra Region is one of the oldest constituencies in the country. 

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It has Osu, Adabraka, Ringway Estates, Odawna and parts of Tudu as some of the most vibrant areas that make up the urban-dominated constituency long held as an important seat in the country’s democratic system.

Its name, Klottey Korle Constituency, is a distinct reversal of the identity of the local assembly, the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly. No particular reason is known as to why the constituency and the assembly have different names.

It hosts one of Ghana’s most famous monuments, the Christiansborg Castle, built by the Danes in 1659, which for long served as the seat of government until 2013.

The castle, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, is a major landmark in Ghana.

Other monuments close to the castle depicting Ghana’s colonial struggles are the Independence Gate and Square, which attract hordes of both local and foreign tourists on yearly basis.

Located in majestic proximity to Victoriaborg, the 19th century neighbourhood of predominantly European settlers, the constituency is home to a number of government and diplomatic institutions and facilities, including the Parliament House, State House, Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Accra International Conference Centre, Passport Office, Ghana Football Association (GFA), and the British High Commission.

Tourism

The Klottey Korle Constituency is endowed with opportunities for tourism, including locations such as the Osu Oxford Street and Osu Night Market.

The area also houses popular restaurants and bars which make night life vibrant and attractive for visitors and residents alike.

Due to the influx of tourists, especially Caribbeans and Americans, trading in African artefacts and clothing has become lucrative on the streets of Osu and other locations in the constituency.

The constituency hosts some of the prominent local five-star and four-star hotels such as Alisa, Movenpick and Kempinski.

A number of hospitality facilities also operate along the beach for domestic and international tourists. It has a total coastline stretch of about seven kilometres from the Klottey Lagoon.

Politically, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been the dominant party at the parliamentary level in the constituency. In 1992, E.W. Nortey from the NDC won the seat, while David Lamptey also of the NDC won it in 1996.

In the year 2000, however, Nii Adu Daku Mante claimed the seat for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and won it again in 2004.

The NDC in the 2008 and 2012 elections reclaimed the seat from NPP, with Nii Armah Ashitey as the candidate.

Mr Ashitey, however, lost his third term bid to Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings in an internal party contest on November 10, 2015, and the latter went on to win the seat in the 2016 general election.

Dr Agyeman-Rawlings retained the seat in the 2020 general election, and now set for a third term bid for Parliament in 2024.

 Location

The constituency is located in the central part of the region, and has Osu as its capital. It covers Osu, parts of Labone, Asylum Down, Adabraka, Makola and the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

It shares boundaries with the Odododiodoo, Dadekotopon, Ayawaso East and Ayawaso Central constituencies.

It has a land size of 12 square kilometres with a total number of 68,633 people, comprising 33,108 males and 35,525 females, according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census.

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It has a total number of 25,558 households, with 4,276 representing non-household population and 64,357 representing household population.

Indigenous areas within the constituency are dominated by makeshift structures such as smaller kiosks, containers, sheds and smaller food vending joints.

It is largely dominated by the informal economy due to rapid urbanisation, massive unemployment and poor land use.

This has put a lot of pressure on the basic socio-economic infrastructure of the municipality.

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The infamous flood and fire disaster which happened on June 3, 2015, occurred in the municipality.

A total number of 159 people, who were seeking shelter at a GOIL Filling Station close to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, died in a mix of flood and fire after a downpour had caused massive floods in Accra. Hundreds were injured, and property worth millions of cedis destroyed.

Agriculture, health and energy

Agricultural activities in the constituency include livestock farming and fishing.

The constituency hosts the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, the Adabraka Polyclinic and some private health facilities.

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Although its citizens fall within a high access zone for health, some health institutions have infrastructure maintenance issues, poor nutrition and malaria case management.

The entire population has access to electricity. Only a small section of the constituency uses private generators during power outages; the rest use other alternatives such as flash lights, candles and solar.

Challenges

Residents of the constituency say they are compelled to live with air and noise pollution, including fumes of motor vehicles, and noise from drinking spots, churches and mosques.

Youth crime and associated problems such as gambling, smoking, substance abuse, prostitution, teenage pregnancy, and child beggars persist within the constituency.

Residents of Adabraka, Asylum Down and areas around the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange also experience perennial flooding, leading to loss of property.

A resident of Adabraka, Abigail Owusu, said the flood situation, although reduced, was still causing havoc.

“We have cleaned our gutters, and the assembly from time to time desilts the drain. However, the place still gets flooded,” she said.

A trader, Ben Oduro, said it was difficult to move from the area since his business was doing well there.

He, however, called for drastic measures to find a permanent solution to the floods.

Poor sanitation is another major challenge in the constituency.

According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, the number of households without toilet facilities has been estimated at 1,846.

Four per cent of the households also have no toilet facility and, therefore, use the beaches as places of convenience.

Businesses

In Osu, residents and business owners called on the authorities to address the congestion and trading activities in the municipality, particularly on the Oxford Street.

A secondhand clothes dealer on the Osu Oxford Street, Daniel Ajei, who has been trading in the area for 25 years, said the congestion was a problem, adding that sales had not been good due to economic hardship.

“People used to buy, but now everyone is complaining there is no money, but those who sell African clothing sometimes make good sales, particularly when foreigners come to town,” he said.

Alex Owiredu, who sells African clothing, confirmed the good sales, but added that sales were not as good as before.

The Chief Executive of the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly, Samuel Nii Adjei Tawiah, said the assembly had engaged business owners operating along the Osu Oxford Street in the wake of plans to redevelop the stretch into a recreational hub.

He said the relevant investment and collaborations were being done to improve tourism and the well-being of residents.

Mr Tawiah said the assembly would keep dredging and cleaning drains and streets to contain the perennial flooding in the area.

He said the Disaster Management Committee of the assembly had met and instituted measures such as having a safe haven to keep people safe during the rainy season.

He advised people to desist from dumping refuse into the drains, warning that those caught would be dealt with.

Mr Tawiah also urged persons living in very low-lying areas to take precautionary measures to protect their property.

Drains

Meanwhile, the Assembly Member for the Osudoku North Electoral Area, Benjamin Neequaye Kotey, said the dredging and cleaning of drains were being done by assembly members and not the municipal assembly.

“Just last week, I joined the National Disaster Management Authority to desilt choked gutters on the Oxford Street,” he said.

He revealed that labourers tasked by the assembly to sweep and clean gutters every morning were not doing so anymore.

“There is a tall list of people at the assembly (over 500) on payroll who are supposed to sweep and clean the streets.”

“Meanwhile, you only see three old women in reflectors sweeping the streets.

When you inquire from the assembly, you are told that about 50 people have been tasked to sweep the streets,” he said.

Outlining some interventions and programmes undertaken to improve the conditions of living of the constituents, the MP for the area, Dr Agyeman-Rawlings, said she funded the construction of footbridge at Asylum Down and the rehabilitation of  footbridges at Odawna-Sahara and Ringway.

She said some financial and in-kind support has also been provided to entrepreneurs as well as Digital training offered to the Arts Centre Artisans in the constituency.

“We have made donations of retrofitted stoves in Osu Night Market, under a carbon footprint project.

We have also organised special events with the aged and the vulnerable in the constituency,” she said.

She said donations have also been made to health facilities, schools, football teams, markets, the constituents and youth groups to enhance their operations and their standard of living.

On education, she said, she donated desks to basic school and distributed mathematical sets to Basic Education Certificate Examination candidates in the constituency.

Dr  Agyeman-Rawlings said she also sponsored the skills-training of constituents and provided them with business-starter packages as well as supported youth groups in Osu Ashante Blohum, a suburb in the constituency.

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