Tema was built on the site of a small fishing village called Torman, named for the local name of the calabash plant, Tor, which was cultivated there. "Tema" is derived from a corruption of "Torman". The government identified the site before independence, and in 1952 acquired 166 square kilometres (64 sq mi) of land north of the harbour, which was entrusted to the Tema Development Corporation for the new industrial and residential development. The villagers of Torman migrated to a new fishing ground around 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) away, which they called Newtown.
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