Theme loses shine: sprawling development disfigures port city | General news

Tema, once recognized as an ideal city and the epicenter of industrialization in the country, is losing its shine.
Designed by the country’s first architect, Theodore S. Cler, the city, commissioned by the first president, Kwame Nkrumah, epitomized the beauty and serenity of urban settlement.

But years of deterioration due to the influx of people looking for work without the corresponding infrastructure has left much of the well-kept city in disrepair.

However, the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) believes that all is not lost and has launched an initiative known as ‘Let Tema Shine Again’, which seeks to galvanize support from corporate entities and individuals within Tema Metropolis to help restore the city ​​to its former glory.

According to Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer (MCE), Yohane Armah Ashitey, the goal is to redesign many of the areas to house modern infrastructure similar to Accra Airport City, which has changed the face of the national capital.

Past and present

Originally a small fishing community, Tema was shaped and developed to be the center of industrialization, international trade, and urban life.

Being the home of the first port in the country, it was baptized as the ‘Port City’, flourishing in commercial activities and with well-planned residential communities.

Well-marked, orderly communities with well-built roads were made more attractive by green landscaping that reflected what some people believed to be the values ​​of elitism and power.

Apart from all this, Tema also boasts of being at the center of the world as the Greenwich meridian, the imaginary line that divides the world into two parts, passes through the city.

In 2014, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) announced plans to turn Greenwich Meridian into a tourist spot, but those plans fell through.

However, history is now a departure from the past with the city becoming a pale shadow of its former glory.

The increasing rate of urbanization, especially as many people seek to take advantage of the vibrant economic opportunities in Harbor City, is putting intense pressure on existing facilities.

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Not only that, the beautiful beaches, ancient tourist attractions such as the now defunct Meridian Rock and its longitudinal crossing through Tema, Ave Maria Resort, Casinos, the former Meridian Hotel, Lagoon Grove between Tema Manhean and Kpone are merely history.

Makeshift markets have sprung up on roadsides, especially in Community One, and authorities have been unable to contain the situation.

The health situation is not befitting the state of the Port City, although the metropolitan assembly has been working hard to ensure some sanity.

Overburdened infrastructure has resulted in rudimentary methods for dumping raw fecal waste directly into streams within the Kpone community, as well as onto beaches along Sakumono and Tema Manhean.

Many faecal processing units are unable to serve their purpose effectively due to facility damage.


There is also the rise of slums in the city, which is home to the country’s largest port and many industries, as a national embarrassment.

Inadequate housing and job opportunities have become a major social issue among many cities.

inhabitants, leaving them to seek alternative accommodation by creating makeshift structures that have turned many of the communities into urban slums.

Areas such as Communities One, Four and Seven, as well as parts of Community Two and the Tema Manhean community have seen many homeowners undertake additional development on existing homes, thereby distorting the beauty of the structures.

overloaded infrastructure

The secretary of the Tema Traditional Council, Nii Armah Somponu II, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Tema last Wednesday that the town’s decency had been lost as people flocked to it every day in search of pasture. more green.

Population growth, he said, has been on the rise without witnessing a corresponding provision of facilities commensurate with the speed of growth.

“Under the circumstances, the few facilities have become overloaded, reducing their useful life and the sanitation challenges associated with sewer leaks at the various central processing points are clear examples of what the city has become,” Nii Somponu , who is also a Shippi from Tema, said.

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He further said that the job opportunities available today could not match the thousands of job seekers, so people resorted to various social vices just to make ends meet.
Nii Shippi said that although TMA and Tema Development Corporation (TDC) were doing their best, “it seems that they are overwhelmed by the rate of population growth over the years.”

“In the past, you hardly ever saw kiosks and container stores, but what do we see today? People are here and there is no work for them. In the meantime, they must do something to earn a living and also get a place of residence, he added.”

Let Theme shine

While ongoing sprawl continues to mar the city, the MCE told the Daily Graphic that various development needs continued to challenge the city that was previously the center of attention.

“Education in the metropolis has had its fair share of challenges, with many educational structures in very poor condition, posing challenges for teachers, students and the communities they are in,” said Mr. Ashitey.

The assembly, the MCE said, was determined to revive the city’s fortunes, which required the support of industries within Tema.

“Our wish will be that companies adopt projects in the area of ​​health, education, the remodeling of marginal neighborhoods, among other areas, in line with their corporate social responsibilities, while in TMA we also seek that the central government facilitate the reconstruction of many of the industrial road networks,” Ashitey said.


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