—-as she constructs 18km Road on Island
In a bid to ensure the highest attainable level of investment and jobs opportunities for her constituents, Hon Helen Adjoa Ntoso, Member of Parliament (MP) for krachi West constituency in the Volta Region, has begun construction of roads and bridges in the island communities.
The majority of Kete-Krachi population, according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, is 49,417, with communities on over 90 inhabited islands, dispersed on the North -Eastern stretch of the Volta Lake.
Following the construction of the Akosombo Dam in the 1960’s, the Kete Krachi communities were resettled at their present location. The Islands has moved from Post-Akosombo construction into longer term development.
However, the benefits of this growth have been limited to the capital, Kete Krachi and its surrounding areas, as improving living standards of the majority remained a formidable challenge.
Hon Helen Adjoa Ntoso
Agriculture continues to be the backbone of the economy, with most Islanders relying on subsistence living on fishing and smallholder agriculture for income.
Service delivery, infrastructure, and the participation of rural communities in the national economy face various constraints in Krachi West Islands, including challenging terrain.
The people relied mostly on water transportation as major means to reach out to the main lands. Outboard motors and canoes are the only vehicle of transport .
Behind the beauty of Kete Krachi Island lies poverty and neglect which should have been one of the best diving spots in the world and a tourist paradise.
Early in the morning any person walking past the coast would see a large beautiful blue water, but the appeal of the image hides the abject poverty of the people living on the islands.
The Islands are pristine and biodiverse marine environment where you could see colourful tropical flowers as you walk through the communities. They have abundant natural beauty that make them look like an earthly paradise.
In spite of the fact that Kete- Krachi is one of the food baskets of the country, it remained one of the most deprived areas in the country. Access to roads, markets, storage facilities, access to prompt health care, quality basic education, among other facilities, are the serious development challenges in the area.
Though the islands are geographically closer to each other, the absence of road network, especially from one community to another make lives more burden than harden.
There are virtually no roads, nor to talk of them being poorly constructed leading to the farming areas.What are there are actually footpaths, some of which animals by virtue of their tough nature, turn into paths and serve as roads for motorbikes.
Beside outboard motors and speedboats use, the only other means to get to the farming areas to convey farm produce to the banks of the lake to market centres, is the motorbike and head pans by women.
This, obviously, is a disadvantage, as some farmers convey their produce to the marketing centres only to use all the money to pay board charges.
Thankfully, Mrs Ntoso, who is full of passion for the people welfare, took up the challenge and has begun clearing and reshaping footpath into roads to open up the communities for business as the road leads to major market centres.
She told THE REPUBLIC, the services of a bulldozer has been engaged to create road to the Island communities with a stretch length of about 18km.
The construction works, she said started from Old Chantai to Old Dabeso, Yabin to Kotokoli and Gamokope, with the view of extending same to the rest of the Island communities.
Since the 1960’s resettlement, Mrs Ntoso said, the people have never witnessed the kind of development been brought through her vision, ” stating that, ” the aim is to ensure that the rural communities have ease access to their farms and markets.”
She explained that, opening up the communities with access routs would ultimately improve living standards in the rural areas by empowering the residents to operate small-scale businesses and services to meet their highest priority needs.
In the interim, she said, some of the indigenous have started buying mini buses to operate on commercial transport basis, ” nothing, ” by the time this road is done more business opportunities could have open for my people and that has been my focus, to empower them economically.”
Mrs Ntoso, a former Volta Regional Minister therefore called on the Ministry of Roads and Highways to take up the road project and create more access routs into the communities.
More than 37,000 farmers from all island communities half of the district population are likely to access the road and later create ease access to their communities.
The MP said investing in our roads and bridges would make the communities transportation network safer and more efficient, while creating jobs for Islanders.
The residents were overwhelmed by the project and expressed their happiness to have her as their MP.
She further promised to use the available resources to improve living conditions of her people but called for support from them.
Source: the republic news online.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba