The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, has disclosed that government will begin the reconstruction of the Apeate community by the ending of April this year.
Mr Owusu-Bio, who doubles as Chair of the Apeate Reconstruction Committee, made the disclosure on Friday during a press briefing to update the media on the progress made on the plan to reconstruct the Apeate community.
The Deputy Minister said his team had redesigned a new spatial plan for the Apeate community, which was done in deep consultation with the residents of the town, their leaders and professionals from the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority.
According to him, the plan, which has been adopted by all stakeholders, makes room for additional social spaces like transportation terminals, clinics, schools, markets, expansion of roads and, particularly, the greens to contribute in the reduction of global warming.
He mentioned that his team, who had been working around the clock on their mandate, had also secured temporary structures at Odumase, a nearby community in the Prestea Huni-Valley constituency, to, as a matter of urgency, resettle the people of Apeate temporarily before the rains sets in.
“As we enter the rainy season, it is clear that affected citizens cannot remain in tents at Apeate. Through the collaboration with Future Global Resources Company Limited (FGR), we have secured structures for a planned relocation as a temporary shelter for the Apeate citizens,” he said.
Mr Owusu-Bio also indicated that the team is currently preparing road designs, with costs estimates, for the Ministry of Roads and Highways to reconstruct roads within the settlements, which were in good shape before the explosion.
The Deputy Minister hinted that a request for proposals will be published on today, March 28, 2022, for interested contractors to bid for the designing and construction of the Apeate community.
On behalf of Government and the sector Minister, he applauded the Ghana Fire service, the Police, NADMO and other first responders to the incident for their efforts and support.
“I want to thank the sector Minister, Honourable Samuel Abu Jinapor, and His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo for the honour they have done us in trusting us with this important national exercise. We hope to continue to receive the support, feedback, advice and prayers of everyone as we execute on our mandate,” he said.
The Chairperson of the Apeate Support Fund Committee, Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, who sat in the briefing, shared a few thoughts, saying “part of leaving out portions of the community untouched, like the hills and mountains, is part of the green concept that the President would like us to implement”.
She disclosed that her committee would soon meet the media to provide details on funds collected, and also jaw-jaw on how to solicit more funds for the project, adding that “it is not always about the quantum but the ability to sustain the inflow of contributions”.
The Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Land Usage and Special Planning Authority (LUPSA), Mohammed Alhassan Damba, gave a detailed presentation on the redesigned local plan for the Apeate reconstruction, on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kwadwo Yeboah, who is also a member of the committee.
He noted that the plan, which had been designed to accommodate about 870 people on 205.64 acres of land, seeks to foster a vibrant human environment by balancing residential land use with complementary land meant for commercial, industrial and public services.
“The plan maintains the pre-disaster cultural settings and lifestyle of the people, providing four different varying land sizes; 185sqm, 279sqm, 372sqm, 585sqm and access networks that promote walkability to keep the community closely knit,” he added.
Mr Alhassan Damba said to incorporate sustainability and climate resilience principles, 15% of the total land area had been earmarked as places for ecological assets such as waterways, green parks and green reserves in wetlands and hilly areas, adding that tree planting corridors had also been provided along major roads.
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