Amnesty International Ghana, has condemned what it terms “untimely and insensitive” demolition exercise in one of Accra’s biggest slums, Old Fadama, specifically at the Bimbila Station.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the human rights organization said it is alarmed by the exercise, which it said was jointly carried out by the Ministry of Water and Sanitation and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
According to Amnesty International, the exercise has rendered hundreds of people homeless at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and the presidential directives for partial lock down and the need for social distancing.
“This is the time we expect all government institutions and agencies to work together to support government’s effort to fight the COVID 19 pandemic. A demolition by these government agencies at the height of fighting a pandemic is uncalled for and puts into question government’s commitment to provide the needed protection for the most vulnerable people in this slum,” Mr. Robert Akoto Amoafo said during Amnesty International Ghana’s visit to the slum.
It charged government and state actors to ensure that international human rights laws and standards are at the centre of all responses to COVID-19, in order to best protect public health and support people who are most at risk of adverse impacts.
“We therefore call on the AMA and the Ministry of Sanitation to immediately halt further demolition at Old Fadama or make alternative arrangements to relocate the residents before continuing any demolition in the community.
“They should as soon as possible provide a temporal place to lodge the residents who have been rendered homeless by the current demolition and to ensure their safety and more importantly from the possibility of contracting or spreading the disease. “