A massive housing project to provide an initial 30,000 units for the country's security agencies kicked off with a sod-cutting ceremony performed by President John Atta Mills at the Tesano Police Depot in Accra on 27th January 2011. The public-private partnership between the Government of Ghana and STX Engineering and Construction company of Korea involves $1.50 billion and is aimed at providing decent accommodation for more than 70 percent of Ghanaians who cannot afford to buy or build their own houses.
This is what the people of Ayalolo in Central Accra had to say about the project :
GEORGINA BONNEY (AYALOLO)
“I am exceedingly happy about the housing project which has finally been launched across the country by President Mills. At long last the hardworking Ghanaian who has no place to lay his head after the day’s work can have a descent shelter. This is what the majority of Ghanaians have been waiting for and thank God by the wisdom of the President this dream would finally be accomplished. These are the things which give meaning to the long hours we queue in the blazing sun to cast our ballots for a political party for what is government if it is not able to address the concerns and the needs of the people? God bless our nation Ghana.”
BERNARD ADOMAKO (AYALOLO)
“My good friend, look at the condition of the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces and let anyone say they do not deserve these houses which are going to be built for them and the majority of the civilian population. These are the men who risk their lives day and night to maintain law and order and also to protect this beautiful country against external aggression. For long we have debated and held very useless discussions about what needed to be done concerning accommodating our military officers. The debate must come to an end now and let’s join hands to ensure that this noble project takes off without any hiccups. It is not above the Fire Service Officer, the Assistant Superintendent of Police or the Second Lieutenant of the military to also have a decent housing”.
KWABENA BOATENG (AYALOLO)
“Talk to the ordinary Ghanaian at any given hour and his or her headache has to do with the increasing rent they are compelled to pay to the landlords especially in Accra. There is a serious struggle going on currently between tenants who are faced by ejection because a foreigner is offering the landlord a better deal for his room. The students of the various universities are most pathetic. My father told me his days at the university were the most memorable because of the atmosphere and the infrastructure that was put in place for them to study and become useful citizens of this country. Those were the days a student had a room to himself and ate the best of meals coupled with the spacious lecture halls. The situation is now different and you would be amazed the kinds of work these beautiful young women do deep in the night just so they can pay for the cost of living in a hostel in order to further their education. It hurts me much but what can I do than pray that this affordable housing project is completed on time so that our sisters and brothers can have a place to sleep after school”.
VICTORIA ALLOTEY (AYALOLO)
“President John Mills has once again fulfilled one of his cardinal election campaign promises. We were in a state of absolute shock when we witnessed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did everything they could to prevent the smooth take-off of this project but lo and behold we came out victorious and the people of this country can finally hope for a place to take a rest after the day because of the good heart of this President. It is left for us to decide whether to maintain this administration of Mills or bring back the nation looters. They came to us and promised us heaven but what did the NPP do for the people of this country when we gave them our mandate? They robbed and raped all they came across and in the end the Ghanaian was left with nothing”.
OSEI MENSAH (AYALOLO)
“There can be no doubting the fact that this housing project would most definitely bring immense relief to the good people of this country but I have one worry. In the past we have seen governments under the various administrations started other projects but not on this magnitude, but what happened to them? Immediately there was a change over of Government, the projects were brought to a halt after billions of the tax payer’s money had been expended on these projects. Would this nationwide affordable housing project face a similar fate? Again, who are going to become the beneficiaries of these buildings? Is it the very poor and rugged man walking on the street or the wealthier members of our society who have already made properties and riches for their great-grand children yet unborn? “
LILIAN LARTEY (AYALOLO)
“ I would have wished the financial resources for this housing programme had gone into the creation of direct employment for the teaming young men and women who have nothing to do when they wake up from bed. All of these children have natural talents which must be nurtured and developed for the speedy develpoment of this country. Some of them haven’t been to school but are able to undertake very basic tasks which helps them live. Why aren’t we spending this money in building vocational schools to equip these young ones with the skills they require for the job market? If the people have decent employment and are able to make good income I do not think we would need government to provide affordable housing because they can do so themselves”.
ALBERT DARKWA (AYALOLO)
“From the way things are going I can predict the President can win the 2012 elections by a landslide. Promises of affordable housing have been made by all the governments which have come and gone but none have been able to make it a reality. The quota which has been allotted to the security services is also good. As a country if we are to expect the best from our Armed Forces then we must take good care of them. Whilst we ran helter skelter at the sight of danger these are the men and women who show their faces and ensure that the danger is removed”.
JOYCE KOUASSIE (AYALOLO)
“I have no worry at all if the tax payer’s monies are going to be spent on such viable projects. Apart from food and clothing, every human being as a matter of right must have access to housing. For how long must our brothers and sisters make the pedestrian walk-ways and the pavements by the road close to the gutters which breed deadly mosquito that brings them all manner of ailment, their places of rest? Once again we are being made to take pride in being citizens of this wonderful country by the leadership of faithful and wise President. However, I wish a lot more attention is given to the civilian population instead of the security services. As we speak there has been a huge increment in the salaries of service personnel so on what basis are we giving them these houses? I also wish to call on the President to take measures towards addressing the worsening unemployment situation. We need industries and factories run by the state to employ these young ones towards national development”.