…Over Poor Cocoa Roads
Hon. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Member of Parliament for Juaboso in the Western Region, has called on the government to, as a matter of necessity, expedite action and fix the bad cocoa roads in Juaboso and its adjoining communities to save the cocoa farmers from losing their produce.
According to the MP, most of the roads in the area are in a deplorable state and the constituents, mainly cocoa farmers, have difficulties accessing or conveying their produce to the market centres.
Speaking to The Republic shortly after putting a question to the Minister of Roads and Highways, on the floor of parliament yesterday, Mr. Akandoh said work on the over 8 kilometre of the Juaboso township roads which was awarded contract in November, last year, have been stalled completely.
Asking the question on the floor of parliament, the former Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress(NDC) government, said, “Mr Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the Juaboso town roads will commence and be completed?
However, in response, the Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, said work on the roads, which started in November, last year, but stopped, will be commenced this June.
According to the minister, “the project commenced on 17th November, 2016 and is projected for completion by the 16th November, 2018.”
He added that, “Works are ongoing on the Juaboso -Dadiaso section of the project to facilitate hauling of cocoa. In accordance with the contractor’s work programme, work on the Juaboso town roads will commence in June, 2017.”
The minister further announced that the overall physical progress of work, as at May, 2017, is estimated at 30% complete, noting that the Juaboso town roads form part of the Juaboso-Dadiaso Feeder Road Project, which the government is committed to ensuring that, at least, 2.28 kilometre of roads are completed and tarred.
“Mr Speaker, the total length of roads in Juaboso town programmed for Bituminous Surfacing is 2.28 km. The roads are as listed, Nana Yaa Menka Road is 1.25km, Hospital Internal Road is 0.73 km and Community Centre Road is also 0.30 km and all will be constructed within this year,” the Road Minister assured.
The roads for the entire project in the Juaboso District that needed to be worked on are Juaboso-Dadiaso 16.40-18.40 km, Kaleo-Dadiaso Road is 8.08km, DadiasoTown Road is 2.80 km and Juaboso Town Road is 2.28km.
He explained that the Juaboso- Dadiaso road, which formed part of the Juaboso Junction-Bonsu Nkwanta feeder road, has been selected for bituminous surfacing under the COCOBOD funded programme.
The minister assured that the contractor will soon resume work on the project site in June, this year, but expressed fear of unavailability of funds to complete it on schedule.
But Mr. Akandoh said, though he acknowledged the minister’s assurance that work on the project will resume, the government should back its words with action for the roads are so bad that they ought to be fixed as soon as possible to ease commuters’ difficulties.
The roads, he noted, are most important to the people of Juaboso, stating, “apart from them not being motorable to commuters, the dust is affecting their health and could trigger any other ailments which could worsen their plight.
He contended that Juaboso is the largest cocoa production district in the country and that its roads should be highly considered by the government, saying, “the roads needs to be fixed and tarred for easy movement of farmers and their goods.”
While urging the government to speed up with work on the project site, the Juaboso MP also called on his constituents to exercise patience with the high hope that the project would be completed as scheduled to ease their transportation.
He said he had an informal discussion with the contractor who has promised to resume work on the project site as soon as he gets a clearance from the government to resume work sometime this June.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba