Education General News

UCC loses 750 acres of land to encroachers

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About 750 acres of the 3,690 acres of the University of Cape Coast land area have been encroached on by private developers.
Along some communities, the pillars on the university’s boundaries have been removed and houses fully constructed on those parcels of land.
Authorities of the university say the situation has reached alarming proportions, with hundreds of new projects springing up, as the encroachment continues almost daily in spite of several efforts to contain it.
Members of the university’s Governing Council yesterday toured the sites to ascertain the level of encroachment and to decide the next level of action as part of efforts to seek lasting solution to the problem.
Situation
Property owners on the encroached lands, according to the anti-land encroachment unit of the university, include workers of the university who have bought the lands from the traditional authorities and developed them into private residential facilities and hostels.
The hostels are accommodating huge numbers of students of the university to complement the institution’s accommodation facilities.
The university’s in-out-out-out residential accommodation policy requires all continuing students to seek accommodation outside the traditional halls of residence.
The Vice-Chancellor of the UCC, Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, said lands demarcated for future projects, including the university’s teaching hospital, had all been encroached.
He stated that the university remained a critical regional and national asset, employing about 5,000 people and producing thousands of graduates every year, and urged the public to be part of efforts to protect the land.
Prof. Boampong indicated that while the adjoining communities whose lands were taken were asking for re-demarcation of the lands, it did not lie in the power of the university to do so.
He noted that aggrieved parties may have to initiate processes of renegotiation with the government.
Land acquisition
The Head of the Anti-land Encroachment Unit, Amankwah Twumasi, said 2,900 acres were initially acquired for the university by Executive Instrument (E.I.) 87 in 1969.
He said in 1972 it was reviewed by E.I. 13, which gave the university 3,980.8 acres.
He said this was further reviewed in 1987 by the government through a certificate of allocation, giving 3,690.24 acres to the university.
In recent times, however, the communities whose lands were taken have raised issues over the boundaries, calling on the government to renegotiate the lands to allow the communities to access some of them.
They indicated that relocating the communities as agreed with the government was not done.
Late last year, for instance, some of the communities embarked on a demonstration, calling on the government to intervene in boundary disputes between them and the university.

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