La Anobil Basic School needs fencewall …as school children turn old graveyard into playground

La Anobil Basic School needs fencewall …as school children turn old graveyard into playground

• Sergeant C. F. Adjetey grave grows with weeds

The pupils of La Anobil Basic School for many years have been compelled to live with the “dead” as a century-old abandoned cemetery serves as a playground and walkway.

The abandoned cemetery with about 70 broken old graves surround­ed by other schools including St Paul’s Primary and Junior High Schools further serves as a walkway for some residents in the area.

The presence of the damaged tomb­stones has become impediment to pupils during play hours.

Mrs Habiba Kutumah, the Municipal Director of Education of La Dadekoto­pon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA) said the situation was very challenging for them especially when visitors came around but there was little they could do as owners of the land were not cooperative in finding solution to the worrying scene.

She said owners of the land re­moved the constructed fence which separated the cemetery from the schools and all efforts to get the area re-fenced had not yielded results.

She said the assembly had been in­formed about the situation and there were plans to put the graveyard back in shape as the school and the assem­bly continued to engage the owners of the land.

When contacted, Mr. Solomon Kotey Nikoi, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) admitted the assembly had some years back fenced the area to preserve and protect prominent per­sons buried there but persons claiming ownership of the land did not main­tain it.

He agreed that the grave yard, in its present form, was an eyesore but said the assembly was considering other temporary solutions.

In a brief statement on the issue, the La ‘Shikitele’ or Kingmaker of La, Nii Adjei Akoofeh IV indicated that, the Traditional Council was in charge of all royal and other ceme­teries within the assembly but the issue around the abandoned cemetery would best be handled by the assem­bly.

“Although all royal and other cemeteries are under the care of the Traditional Council, it is also directly under the jurisdiction of the Munici­pal Assembly and they have the final say on how the place is managed” he explained.

He said the only way to ensure safety was proper fencing of the graveyard.

“It is very important the place is properly preserved or the remains be exhumed to a different location to en­able the school children free access to their compound without them having to walk or play around the tombs,” he noted.

The Former MCE of LaDMA and cur­rent Member of Parliament (MP) for La Dade-Kotopon Constituency, Ms. Rita Odoley Sowah said, the place in question was fenced during her time as the MCE.

She agreed the area need­ed proper and stronger wire fencing that could stand the test of time to ward off both school children and the com­munity members.

Mr. Aaron Annan Akronge, the Assembly man of Labone Electoral Area, confirmed the Assembly had, some years ago, fenced the grave yard and provided lighting but the barrier had broken and the lights stolen.

By Victor A. Buxton

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