Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,
This morning the Greater Accra Regional Security Council wishes to address you on the wanton encroachment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lands at Fafraha in the Adentan Municipality.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the foremost public research institution in Ghana and the CSIR-Animal Research Institute (CSIR-ARI) is one of the thirteen research institutes of the CSIR. CSIR is currently governed by the CSIR Act 521 1996. The Government of Ghana under Executive Instrument (E.I. 38) established the CSIR-ARI on an over one-thousand-acre land in 1976 at Adentan-Frafraha with a mandate to conduct research into the development and transfer of livestock and poultry technologies to communities, farmergroups, private and public organizations. This was to ensure the long-term food security of the nation. When the land was acquired by Government, all owners (including the original owners at Berekuso, Akuapim) were compensated.
However, over the years some unscrupulous persons have made it a habit to be selling portions of this land to unsuspecting Ghanaians.
Ladies and Gentlemen, over the years CSIR-ARI has carried out a good number innovative research work with far reaching results aimed at providing food security and saving the country lots of foreign exchange. The potential of these technologies when scaled up would amount to several billions of United States Dollars, besides the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The development of the CSIR-ARI broiler breed of chicken which performs better in survivability than imported ones can contribute over Seven Hundred (700) Million USD to the economy of Ghana annually, given that Ghana spends over $350 million on chicken imports annually. This is besides technologies developed for guinea fowl that improves keet(young guinea fowl) mortality, developed breeds of sheep and goat; technologies that improves pig farming, saving labour costs and ensuring no odour and many others.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, in 2014 as part of efforts to retrieve land illegally acquired by encroachers, CSIR-ARI went to court and obtained a Writ of Possession in an attempt to evict encroachers from the land but this exercise did not materialize. In an attempt to stop further encroachment, CSIR-ARI n 2017, acquired a loan to fence off the remaining 200-acre portion of the land. Today, the encroachment is even more serious. Large portions of these fences have been broken down by encroachers who have moved into these previously fenced areas to put up single rooms, foundations of houses and walling to demarcate plots for themselves.
• Land guards have broken down portions of the piggery infrastructure, destroyed four (4) cattle kraals (ie cattle housing facility) and foundations for buildings have been erected to replace them. Land guards have also built walls and single rooms infront of the Hatchery, Meat Processing House and the Dairy Processing Unit blocking access to these facilities by vehicles.
• Some ongoing experiments have been destroyed by the land guards which includes some donor sponsored ones.
• Clashes between local farmers and Fulani herdsmen is a National Security issue. The Government of Ghana recognized this threat to national security and therefore placed the National Cattle Ranching Committee under the Ministry of National Security. To address this Fulani herdsmen problem the Cattle Ranching Committee is developing a grazing corridor from the North to the South of Ghana and CSIR-ARI is to provide expertise and locally developed nutritious pasture planting materials for the project. All the pasture materials developed for this project have been destroyed by land guards with bulldozers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the armed Land guards, we are told,walk in and out of the institute with impunity, some riding motor bikes and compromising the biosecurity of the farm animals. Staff of the Animal Research Institute have been beaten up and molested on several occasions by these armed land guards who have threatened to burn down the junior staff quarters.
Members of the Security Council have visited the site and witnessed the aggressive encroachment even on the 200-acre fenced land. We wish to place on record that none of the buildings have any building permits. The Adentan Municipal Assembly has not issued any permit to anyone to build on the ARI land.
The Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) in section 121: Unauthorized development of right of community space, states that :
“An authorized officer may, without notice, effect or carry out instant prohibition, abatement, alteration, removal or demolition of an unauthorized development if that breach is creating an environmental nuisance as defined in an enactment relating to the environment or interferes with the use of public right of space.”
The Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) in section 97: the enforcement against unauthorized development in respect of community right of space, also states that
(1) “A District Planning Authority may effect or carry out an instant prohibition, abatement, alteration, removal or demolition of any unauthorized development carried out or being carried out that encroaches or will encroach on community right of space or that interferes or may interfere with the use of the space.”
(2) “The action to stop the encroachment on the community right of space shall be without prior notice.”
The above indicates that the Adentan Municipal Assembly has the power to remove the structures that are mushrooming on the CSIR/ARI Lands without prior warning. However, the Assembly as well as the Animal Research Institute have gone ahead to issue warnings to developers within the perimeter to stop any development which have been largely ignored by these encroachers with impunity. The current situation on the land calls for drastic measures to deal with the impunity with which people have encroached on the Land to protect the remaining 200-acre land.
Consequently, REGSEC is collaborating with the Adentan Municipal Assembly and the CSIR to remove all thoseunauthorized structures mushrooming within the fenced landwithout further delay.
REGSEC is hereby giving a 48hr notice from now to all those who are putting up such unauthorized structures within the fenced wall to pack their tools and materials from the landwithout fail.
Any persons found loitering on the fenced 200-acre land after the deadline will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land. REGSEC with the Adentan Municipal Assembly and the Animal Research Institute (ARI) of the Council for Industrial Research (CSIR) will proceed to remove every structure on the land subsequently.
Thank you for your attention