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2 Jun 2020

Voice of America

Ghana: Construction of China-funded fishing harbour leads to demolition of buildings and concerns over local livelihoods

“Fears for Livelihoods Over Fishing Harbor Demolition in Ghana”, 2 June 2020

Demolition of Accra’s iconic James Town fishing community began… to construct a China-funded multi-million-dollar fishing harbor.  Local authorities pulled down over 300 temporary and permanent structures, including businesses, a school, and places of worship in the largely poor, densely populated area.  While many are excited about the prospect of development, the demolition has also raised fears for already precarious livelihoods…

Through their NGO, Naa Borkor Quartey and her husband Emmanuel fed and supported local children in sports, education, arts and child rights. They also offered skills training and housed about 50 children.

The JayNii Streetwise Foundation had previously been told it would be excluded from demolition. However, with very short notice, its buildings and playground disappeared…

Tour guide Collins Seymah Smith, who also runs a community theater, worries about the future and for those who have lived here for generations and have nowhere to go…

Ghana authorities say they will compensate those with legal claims to lost property and are temporarily relocating fishermen along the coast as the harbor is built, said Seth Raymond Tetteh a chairman for the local assembly.

“When the fishing harbor is constructed it is going to boost the economic life of this community and that is what will change the lives of a lot of people in the community. So, we are looking at something that is going to benefit a lot of people, than looking at one or two people that it has affected them today,” he said…