Residents of Owabi, a farming community in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti Region, have appealed to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the government to provide them alternatives for resettlement, as a result of constant threats of flooding from the Owabi Dam, located close to the community.
The residents say lack of basic social amenities, coupled with the environmental hazards they face anytime the Owabi River overflows its banks, had pushed them into abject poverty, and exposed them to several environmental health hazards, including water borne diseases.
The Concerned Citizens of Owabi, which made the appeal in a statement, lamented that they had since the 1920s endured the harsh economic and environmental conditions, after the government decided to construct the dam to serve as a main source of water for residents in the region.
The group said, to this end, they were compelled to settle at their present place, which is low land lying downstream of the river, a situation which exposes them to environmental hazards anytime there is a heavy downpour.
The Spokesman for the group, Albert Boakye, said several efforts to get authorities to offer them compensation, and possibly resettle them, had fallen on deaf ears.
He, however, recalled that in 2007, the government, through the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), donated some items, including 170 packets of roofing sheets, 500 bags of cement and 100 boxes of roofing nails to be given to the Owabi community, but the items were allegedly diverted to other communities.
The spokesman said when they confronted the authorities they were informed that the problems in those communities were bigger than that of the Owabi community.
Mr. Boakye further revealed that in 2008, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, saw their plight and instructed the overlord of the lands in the area to allocate 17 plots for the resettlement of the residents, but this has not been successful, after several efforts, as a result of some disputes.
The spokesman said their attempts to get the Asantehene informed about the matter had also not yielded any fruitful results, as they were always prevented by some traditional authorities who have vested interest in the said plots.

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