The Ga Dangme Council is opposing the proposed construction of a hostel facility in Accra for head porters, also known as kayayei.
The council believes the project is an affront to development and living standards in Accra because the land earmarked for the project is for the construction of a recreational facility and cannot be used to re-settle non-indigenes when there are Ga indigenes without homes in the capital city.
In order to keep its promise of providing decent accommodation, the government has begun constructing of a 600-bed kayayei hostel facility at Agbogbloshie.
In a statement, the Ga Dangme Council demanded that the land be handed over to the Lands Commission so that the same land can be used to build housing for Ga indigenes since it is no longer used for the Korle Lagoon Recreational Planning Scheme.
“The Council is of a strong conviction that in accordance with the constitution and laws, the land should be returned to the original owners. The injustice involved in what is happening is that Ga lands are bing used to resettle non-indigenes whilst there are several homeless indigenes living on the streets fighting for space and accommodation at Bukoum, James Town, Chorkor and generally along the coast with no room for expansion.”
In essence, the council wants the Kayayei hostel project to be abandoned so that they can be given vocation and technical skills in the regions from which they migrate rather than moving to the south for jobs that do not exist.
“Therefore, since these indigenes also require land for construction and settlement, we propose that, the land in question, be handed over to the Greater Accra Regional Lands Commission to be held in trust and with the collaboration of composite Ga, Gbese and Korle Stools and James Town Stool and the Ga Dangme Council for same to be parcelled out to deserving indigenes to use it for providing accommodation for themselves.”
“In the result, we suggest the idea of using the specific land in question to construct Hostels for Head porters or kayayei to be permanently abandoned, and alternative solutions found for their plight”, the statement concluded.
This move hinted at by the government to build a hostel facility for the kayayei comes as an implementation of a campaign promise made by President Akufo-Addo before his government was voted into power in 2016.
According to him, the intention to build the facility was to provide decent accommodation to the kayayei and save them from sleeping under perilous living conditions.
Former President John Mahama, then sitting at the time described Akufo-Addo’s promise as insulting and asked him to find a better way of alleviating the hardships of the head potters.
Here is the full statement from the Ga Dangme Council.