Potential landslide looming at Weija Ridge

BY SAMUEL APEA-DANQUAH - Nov 27, 2018 at 12:05pm 100

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By Godwill Arthur-Mensah/Grace Princess Tarwo, GNA

Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - Danger is looming for over 5,000 residents living at the downstream of Weija-Kasoa Ridge stretching over 600 metres within the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.

The activities of sand winning and excavation of the earth, near Asamoah Gyan’s luxurious building, known as Basilica, and had seriously weakened the sedimentary rocks resulting in deep cracks in the Weija Ridge.

Some residents are winning sand while others are also blasting and mining the rocks for construction and building purposes, which had weakened the very foundation of the Ridge, resulting in deep gullies ranging between 20 and 30 metres, with high potential of a landslide during heavy rains.

Also, some recalcitrant individuals had been cutting the few trees left to burn charcoal, exposing the Ridge to serious erosion.

A tour of the area by Journalists and members of the Liaison Group for Mining in Production Forest Reserves, comprising technocrats and engineers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Water Resources Commission, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Forestry Commission, Minerals Commission and the Ga South Municipal Assembly on Monday, revealed a dire situation, that required an urgent attention.

Mr Ransford Sekyi, the Chairperson of the Technical Group, who doubles as a Director of the Inter-sectoral Network Division at the EPA, in charge of Mining, Natural Resources and Manufacturing, said the Technical Group was constituted in 2014 to find a workable solution to the challenge.

He said it had met key stakeholders in the area, including the National Security, Traditional rulers, the Municipal Assembly, land owners and residents to sensitise them on the dangers posed by the continued encroachment on the Hill, but it had yielded little outcome.

He, therefore, urged the media to educate the residents and prospective real estate developers about the potential danger posed by the Ridge.

Mr Sekyi noted that the Group had forwarded its report to the Government and awaiting the outcome and financial allocation for re-engineering of the place.

He explained that the components of the Weija Ridge comprised, sedimentary rocks inter-bedded with phylites and quartz.

Therefore whenever it rained the clay that held the Ridge together often got softened and the silt was washed downstream, choking drains along the Kasoa-Accra road, while some silt ended up in the Weija Dam blocking the water in-take area of the Ghana Water Company Limited.

Mr Sekyi said in order to safeguard lives and property within the enclave it would be prudent to create a buffer zone, re-design and re-engineer the Ridge to stabilize it from further deterioration.

He suggested that the layers or contours that would be created along the Ridge should be re-grassed to prevent erosion and possible landslide.

Mr Sekyi expressed worry about the attitude of some Ghanaians, which threaten the safety and existence of humanity and called for enforcement of the law to ensure sanity.

Mr Daniel Sowah, the Ga South Urban Roads Engineer, on his part, said the Weija Ridge is a looming disaster, noting that, the Assembly had not granted any permit to any developer to build there.

He said the Assembly carts about 20 trucks of silt from the area whenever it rained, which cost it between GH¢5,000.00 and GH¢10,000.00.

Mr Felix Ofosu Teye, a Works Engineer for the Assembly, said although the developers did not have building permit, the Assembly had to go through a process to demolish the buildings.

Meanwhile, the team also visited the Weija Dam to acquaint themselves with the encroachment around the Ghana Water Company’s Water Intake.

It was realized that the previously degraded areas around the dam had been reclaimed while a joint Military and Police Task force is stationed there to prevent further encroachment and dumping of refuse in the dam.