Authorities demolish Accra slum to prevent floods

Police use tear-gas against protesting residents of Agbogbloshie

City authorities have levelled hundreds of homes and businesses in Accra's Agbogbloshie, a slum district built on a former wetland.

The demolition is part of the government's plans to widen the nearby Korle lagoon to prevent a repeat of the recent floods which claimed over 150 lives, including those killed in a petrol station explosion in downtown Accra.

Security forces are accused of using tear-gas against residents who were protesting against their homes being bulldozed. Thousands of locals are now homeless but they will be rehoused “gradually” according to the country's president John Dramani Mahami who has come under pressure to deal with the flooding crisis.

The city says the flooding is compounded by blocked drains and silted waterways, and claims that the lagoon is clogged to such an extent that locals have recently been constructing illegal dwellings using concrete, not timber.

The plans are that all structures within 100m of the lagoon will be destroyed before dredging begins to widen a rubbish-clogged channel.

Synonymous with crime, Agbogbloshie is also known as Sodom and Gomorrah due to its harsh living conditions, and is best known as being a dumping ground for electronic waste from industrialised western nations. petrol station explosion