Aug 10, 2017
The Ashaiman Central ADR Centre, which has aided in resolving many community disputes, is in distress as it grapples with infrastructural challenges.
It has appealed for urgent help to enable it overcome the challenge of operating in a dilapidated wooden structure, a situation which is hampering its operations.
During a visit to the Centre, ADR Daily found that the Centre is housed in a dilapidated wooden structure that was put up by a construction firm for use as office during the construction of the Ashaiman night market road many years ago.
It is situated behind the Ashaiman Cluster of Schools and near the busy and noisy night market.
The centre has two small offices. One is used by the Head, while the other is used by the other staff. Both offices serve as meeting rooms for resolving all cases received.
According to Mr. Gabriel Atsu, Head of the Centre, the inadequate office space and infrastructure was affecting the work of the centre.
For instance, he said the infrastructure constraint at the centre does not promote confidentiality as required in ADR practice.
Regarding staff, he said the centre has six officers made up of three trained ADR professionals while the other three are undergoing training.
In spite of the challenges, he said the centre has made significant strides in resolving cases.
He noted that a total of 840 cases have so far been received by the centre from January to August 8,
Mr. Atsu disclosed that rent cases topped the list of cases that residents from the municipality and its environs reported to the centre over the period with debt cases being the second.
Out of the number, there were 289 and 115 rent and debt cases respectively recorded.
Other cases received by the Centre over the period are child maintenance, land disputes, family and marital disputes, sexual harassment and relationship conflict as well as miscellaneous cases.
The centre, Mr. Atsu observed had been able to resolve all the cases received except for 66 of them which were still pending.
He further emphasized that the introduction of ADR mechanism into the country has led to a reduction in the cases recorded at the normal courts as the various ADR Centres across the country were handling a number of cases that hitherto would have gone to the regular court system.
Mr. Atsu therefore appealed to the Chief Justice, the Judicial Service of Ghana and other benevolent organizations to come in either renovating or relocating the centre to enhance its performance for the benefit of the country.
By Francis Tandoh/Fred Gadese-Mensah/adrdaily.com