Brong-Ahafo

Sunyani Technical University battles land encroachers

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The management of the Sunyani Technical University (STU) in Sunyani is anticipating an increase in student/staff population from the current 7,000 to over 20,000 by 2030.

As part of the future expansion plans, the university has secured 55 and 142 acres of land at Duayaw Nkwanta in the Ahafo Region and Amasu in the Dormaa East District of the Bono region respectively.

The STU, which was established in 1967 with less than 100 students as a technical institute, currently has four faculties, fifteen departments and over 50 Degree, HND, Diploma, Certificate and professional programs on about 60 acres of developed land, out of the initial 166 earmarked for the school.

Addressing the press in Sunyani, ahead of the university’s weekly management meeting, Mr Dickson Kyere-Duah, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of STU, said the Northern Electricity Department of Volta River Authority’s construction of 161KVA transmission lines across the university has taken 42 acres of the land.

The PRO further said “some unscrupulous people have aggressively encroached about 30 acres of the remaining land behind the pylons”.

He added that, “If this alarming rate of encroachment is not curbed, there will be no land for the university to implement its 2020-2025 strategic plan and the much-touted master plan that seeks to transform the institution into a centre of excellence in science, technology, innovation, technical and vocational education”.

The university, therefore, served notice to illegal and potential encroachers to back off from the university’s land, since management will use all legitimate means to resist it.

Mr Kyere-Duah said “the situation is getting out of hand and management is warning such faceless people to desist from such illegal activities”.

According to the PRO, the university has legitimate documents covering the institution’s land even as they battle some developers in court.

He also said the university is collaborating with other bodies to use legitimate steps to reclaim the encroached university land without ceding any portion to individuals or organisations.

Mr Kyere-Duah gave assurance that management of the university would be using a series of coordinated activities to rid the lands, especially in Sunyani, of encroachers.

BUILDING IN THE NIGHT

Mr. Kyere-Duah also said that some developers build overnight, with the aim that once the put up the building; they will negotiate with the university.

He, however, warned such developers that “there will be no room for compromise”.

Mr. Kyere-Duah appealed to the government, state agencies, traditional authorities, the media, and other stakeholders to join forces with the university to protect the university lands for present and future generations.

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