Hon Abdul-Razak Tahidi, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chereponi in the North East Region, has appealed to the government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways to fix the deplorable roads in the Chereponi Township and its farming communities which are causing post-harvest losses.
According to the MP, the poor road network at Chereponi is hindering farmers from accessing market centers in neighbouring towns and cities to sell their bountiful harvest.
He warned that farmers may be forced to divert their farm produce to the neigbouring countries like Togo if the government failed to heed to his appeal and have the roads fixed.
Hon Tahidu made the call when he posed a question to the Minister for Roads and Highways on the floor of parliament about the bad roads in Chereponi township and the road linking Yendi on Friday, November 25, 2022.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways why contractors of the following roads have abandoned the site since July 2021: (i) Chereponi Yendi road (ii) Chereponi Township roads.
In response, the Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Kwesi Amoako –Atta said the 12km Chereponi – Yendi road which connects the district capitals of the
Chereponi District of the North East Region and Yendi District the Northern Region, commenced on the 15th of August 2016, and are to be completed by the 15th of August 2019.
He said the project included the construction of roadside drains, culverts, Earthworks, and double bituminous surface treatment, and the physical progress of work completed is estimated at 25%, but the Contractor suspended works because of a delay in payment.
“Mr. Speaker, the contractor is awaiting payment for work done to enable him to resume work,’ the Minister said, adding that the upgrading of the Sakpiegu – Chereponi Road project also commenced on the 24th November 2016 to be completed by 23rd November 2019.
He said the Contractor is currently at the site and work is progressing steadily as the physical progress of work completed is estimated at 40.
On the Chereponi Township Roads, Hon Amoako-Atta said the Contract for the upgrading of the Chereponi township roads was awarded in two lots (Phase 1 and Phase 2 and the progress of work is projected at 55% physical completion.
He said the Contractor stopped work and abandoned the site on 21st December 2020 after IPC No. 1 was raised, however warning letters have been issued for the contractor to return to the site but no response has been received to date.
“Mr. Speaker, the Department of Feeder Roads will initiate the necessary contractual procedures to terminate the contract by the end of the first quarter of 2023 if the contractor still refuses to remobilize to the site,” the Minister added.
He indicated that farmers who engaged in cultivating various crops, including yam, beans, maize, Sesame, rice, sorghum, groundnuts, and vegetables were unable to transport their farm produce to the market centres to sell leading to post-harvest losses.
The dilapidated nature of the road was not only scaring investors away but had also compelled farmers to reduce their farm sizes while others had been thrown out of business, thereby deepening the poverty situation in the area, he added.
“Chereponi is a dominant peasant farming area and farmers are not always able to transport their products to the market centres to sell, which always leads to post-harvest losses,” he lamented.
Send your news stories and articles to email@example.com or via WhatsApp at +233 0543 900 732