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Korle Lagoon Restoration Project and displacement from Accra's Old Fadama Slum, Ghana

When the slum gets in the way of tourism development, a flood opens opportunity. The government is using natural disasters as a reason to unilaterally determine the fate of the slum, while ignoring the rights of the people who are impacted


Basic Data
Name of conflict:Korle Lagoon Restoration Project and displacement from Accra's Old Fadama Slum, Ghana
Location of conflict:Accra
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The conflict over the land area is rooted in clashes between elites and colonial administrators over land tenure policies of 1914-1920. Since 1991, there have been repeated eviction actions in Old Fadama, in attempts to remove the northern settlers, who are still called ´outsiders´ despite their extended tenure in the locale. On July 31, 1993, people from 400 houses on public land were evicted. In 1999, the government launched the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP), more recently which has been touted as a climate adaptation program due to the recurrent flooding in Old Fadama, but essentially what represents a redevelopment of the slum for the purposes of creating a recreation area and also relocating or forcibly evicting the marginalized slum residents, originating from the North. KLERP aims to improve the ecology of the lagoon by eliminating the material inflows that are clogging the river basin through sanitation control, improved channeling, sewage treatment, and better ecological and hydrological conditions of the Lagoon and its tributaries. The project was scheduled to take place from January 2000 to July 2008 in four stages, funded by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, The Kuwait Fund for Arab and the Government of Ghana. While the money was spent and some efforts were made to improve the river’s flow, the lagoon remains heavily polluted due to the incapacity of the government to work with the slum residents and their respective livelihoods, especially in the case of the 2015 demolition.

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Project area:31.3
Level of Investment:93,800,000.00
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:80,000
Start of the conflict:02/05/2002
Company names or state enterprises:Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) from Ghana
Environmental Protection Agency Ghana from Ghana
International and Finance InstitutionsOPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa
Republic of Ghana
Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) from Kuwait
Belgium Government Supported Export Credit
Standard Chartered Bank, London
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:People's Dialogye on Human Settlements, Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP), UNHABITAT, National Advocates Against Corruption And Injustice (NAACAI), Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), Help the African Child, Mike Anane, an environmental activist from Accra, Professor Oteng-Abavio, Center for Public Interest Law (CEPIL),
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Project StatusUnknown
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:As a result of a multi-scalar organizing effort, the slums were able to take part in the dialogue with the government actors such as AMA, but still not enough was accomplished to defend the rights of residents in light of climate hazards such as flood. Clearly, the government is using natural disasters as a reason to unilaterally determine the fate of the slum, while ignoring the rights of the people who are impacted.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Lepawsky, Josh and G. Akese. 2015. Sweeping Away Agbobgloshie. Again. Discard Studies.

E-Waste Republic
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Demolition news
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GHAFUP's website
[click to view]

World's biggest e-dump or vital supplies for Africa?
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Demolition News
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Meta information
Contributor:Julie Snorek, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
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