Mr Twumasi Kwame Ampofo
The deplorable condition of roads in the Sene West Constituency and surrounding communities in the Brong Ahafo Region, is adversely affecting living conditions, as transportation of farm produce to marketing centers in the district is almost impossible.
Most of the roads are not passable and they are mostly of non-gravelled surface, narrow width and with low quality bridges.
In most cases, they are characterized by potholes and hardly passable during the rainy season when vehicles get stuck in mud.
The situation has led to low incomes for the farmers, poverty, low production and the migration of the youth to other areas of the country.
This came to light when THE REPUBLIC caught up with Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency, Hon Twumasi Kwame Ampofo, in parliament last week Friday.
He told the paper exclusively after asking a question on the floor that, the fear of wasting the farm produce as a result of the deplorable roads had forced the farmers in the constituency to grow limited amount of crops that they could take to the market due to long hours of transporting them, especially the perishables that easily get spoilt.
The inability of farmers to market their farm produce means lack of adequate income for production inputs and to expand production. This challenge has greatly affected these rural farmers, and, as a result, they could barely meet their immediate needs like healthcare and education for their children.
This has undoubtedly pushed Mr Ampofo to dragged the Minister for Roads and Highways to the floor of parliament to explain what steps being taking to construct some major roads in the constituency.
“Mr Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry has put in place to construct the Atebubu – Kwame Danso road and feeder roads such as Kwame Danso – Akyeremade Battor, Kwame Danso – Konkonse, Kyeamekrom – Chababa, Kyeamekrom –Tatto Bator, Menkor – Todaykope and Shafa – Dogondage?” he asked.
In response, the Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako-Atta said, there are no major construction programme on the road. However, routine maintenance grading are currently ongoing.
He added that the roads question have been packaged for upgrading works but waiting for procurement which are expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Kwame Danso – Akyeremade – Battor , for instance which is about 20.9km feeder road is gravel with fair surface, has no major construction programme on the road but been receiving annual routine maintenance (grading) activities to make it motorable.
According to the sector Minister, engineering design studies would be carried out on the road in the fourth quarter of 2018 to determine the appropriate intervention for consideration when funds are available.
He however assured the government commitment to ensure that every part of the country which has major problems on the road network would be tackle to ease transportation and to improve the economy.
But Mr Twumasi noted that many of the roads leading to farming communities in the constituency are not passable, especially after rainfall, stating that the roads are so bad that even commuters refuse to go and when they agree the fare is very high.
These roads, the MP noted , are important roads to the predominantly farmers and fishers in the constituency, adding that, the bad nature of the roads had led to many post-harvest losses and posed severe economic problems to the people.
The situation, he added, has put some farmers in financial difficulties as they struggle to pay back loans they procured from banks and other financial institutions to farm and repay.
With these challenges, Mr. Twumasi said, there was urgent need for the government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways to prioritised most of the roads in the constituency and speed up with construction to save farmers from losing more of their produce.
While asking the people to remain patient but hopeful, the Sene West lawmaker assured the constituents that he would he could to bring hope to them by ensuring that their bad roads are well constructed, as well as other infrastructural facilities,like schools, health facilities and potable water.
He said road transport is regarded as an important factor involved in agricultural development all over the world and the only means by which food produced at farm sites are moved to different homes, as well as markets.
Source: the republic news online.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba