The Member of Parliament (MP) for Aowin Constituency in the Western North Region, Hon Oscar Ofori Larbi has said bad roads, especially in the cocoa growing communities is retarding the growth of Cocoa and agriculture in the area.
According to him, despite the economic potential in the cocoa sector, government is paying little attention to the bad nature of roads which is one of the factors that bedeviled agriculture.
He said apart from the activities of illegal surface mining affecting cocoa farming, the lack of good roads remained the major challenge that impedes cocoa production and agriculture as a whole.
The MP added that road transport plays an important role in agricultural development, partly because it is a major means of transporting agricultural produce from farms to the market centers as well as to various urban communities.
Mr. Larbi made these comments after he dragged the Minister of Roads and Highways to parliament over some abandoned cocoa road construction projects in the constituency.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways measures being put in place to construct the following roads in the cocoa growing communities within the Aowin Constituency to mitigate the challenge of farmers conveying food commodities to Enchi: (i) Alatakrom – Sewum (ii) Adonikrom Motoso (iii) Yiwabra Nkwanta Junction Aqual Allah (iv) Fawukabra, ‘the MP asked.
In response the Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Kwesi Amoako-Atta said the 12.7km Alatakrom – Sewum roads form part of the Alatakrom – Sewum – Boano feeder road which is 18.7km.
According to him, the road is in fair condition and the Contract for the spot improvement of the road was awarded on contract in December 2020 for completion by December 202, which has since elapsed.
He said “work executed to date includes: 13.0km of clearing and formation 5,451 cubic metres of cutting. Progress of work to date is projected at 29.7% physical completion. Warning letter to speed up with the work was written to the contractor on 15th February 2022.”
He said the Department of Feeder Roads would issue a final warning letter to the contractor to return to site by the end of the 3rd quarter of 2022, but should the Contractor failed would lead to the necessary contractual procedure to terminate the contract.
On the 13.4km Adonikrom – Motoso feeder road, the Minister said the road is in poor condition but engineering studies would be conducted to determine the appropriate intervention by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022 for consideration under the 2023 budget.
Hon Amoako-Atta further told parliament, that the 17km Yiwabra Nkwanta – Aquai Allah road and the 4.2km Fawukabra road which are all feeder roads and urban roads respectively are also receiving engineering studies to determine the appropriate intervention by the end of the fourth quarter of 2022 for consideration under the 2023 budget.
The Minister assured that the road would be captured in the 2023 budget for the construction to be carried out to ease transportation difficulties in the District.
But Hon Larbi said he hope the Minister’s assurance would not be the usual lip service the government has been paying to the road infrastructure challenges of the people of Ghana.
According to him, the non –commitment to the construction of some key rural road projects in parts of the Constituency were enough reason(s) that the government was careless about the well-being of the people.
The MP said, currently there is nothing to be described as the road on those sections of the communities and that, no car could pass on the routs except bulldozers, graders and tractors
He stressed some of these roads on daily basis is like passing through hell and that each day, motorists and commuters groan on the road.
It’s a regular occurrence for passengers and motorbike riders to fall into the murky and dusty perpetually domiciled on roads.
The people in my communities hopes were being dashed government after government, noting that there is no assurance if the rural communities would ever be remembered by the current government.
Nonetheless, he assured to double up his lobbying at the Ministry to have the roads fixed for his people.
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