MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for Salaga North constituency in the Northern Region, Hon Alhassan Mumuni, has called on the minister of roads and highways to speed up process to re-award the road projects in Salaga North, to relieve commuters of difficulties they go through on daily basis.
The MP expressed his displeasure at the abandoned of work on a road project being executed in his constituency after he posed a question to the minister for roads and highways in Parliament last Friday on the floor of Parliament.
According to him, work on the 21km-road, which was awarded on contract in August 2012, has been abandoned by the contractor, thereby making it very difficult for commuters to access the road.
“Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the Kpalbe-Nyashila road will be completed?” Hon Mumuni asked on the floor of Parliament.
In response, the Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako-Atta, told Parliament that the 21km Kpalbe-Nyashila road located in the East Gonja District with both gravel and earth surface is in fair to poor condition,per the Ministry assessment.
According to the Minister, the road which is one of the COCOBOD funded Roads Improvement Programme ( CRIP) was awarded contract on 8th of August,2012, for spot improvement.
The Roads Minister said, work commenced on the 13th August,for completion on 12th August 2013, but contraction completion date has since elapsed.
Mr Amoako-Atta noted that the entire project work stalled after completion of all the drainage structures as a result of government undue delay in paying the contractor of work done, adding that, “No work has since been executed after the expiration of the contractual completion date.”
Going forward, the Sector Minister hinted that, the Department of Feeder Roads(DFR) is initiating the process of terminating the contact in view of the excessive overrun of completion date in order to enable a repackaging of the contract for consideration in 2018 when funds are available.
He further assured the MP and the people of Salaga-North that the government was determined to complete all projects, including the road in question, to ease residents and commuters of the troubles they go through in accessing the road.
But in an interview with THE REPUBLIC, Hon Mumuni stated that the delay in the execution of work on the project had adversely affected the good people of SALAGA North, especially Kpalbe-Nyasihila and surrounding communities, notably during raining season.
He added that the road in question served as an economic road as it lead to most farming communities as well as health and market centers, saying ” the deplorable roads in, Kpalbe to Nyasihila, and surrounding communities in the constituency is adversely affecting living conditions, transportation of farm produce to marketing centers in the district is almost impossible.”
Most of the roads in Salaga North are unmotorable and are mostly of unpaved surface, narrow width and with low quality bridges. In most cases, they are characterized with 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.
Hon Mumuni said, two kids lost their lives when they were been rushed through the road to health centre, indicating that dust from the road complicates residents health conditions.
He told the paper exclusively 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 as a result; they can barely meet their immediate requirements, healthcare as well as educate their children,” Mr Mumuni lamented.
Some of the predominant farming communities in the Salaga North constituency the MP mentioned includes, Nyamaliga, Fuu, Gbung, Kpalbe, Kpalbusi, Jindanturu, Bunjal, Kabache No 1, Kabache N0 2, Dashe, Baboashe, Kpadu and Wulanyili.
The rest are Kpanshe, Nymaliga Nyapala, Takpili, Libi, Chanayili, Jinlo, Yapal Vogyili, Sakpalua, Kpinchila, Tungu, Kpalayili, Kanakulai, Latinkpa, and Kidenge.
With these challenges, Hon Mumuni 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 produces.
Besides the poor nature of roads and the lack of access to drinking water, the MP also decried non availability of health and educational facilities in the constituency, stating that, the neglect of the constituency by successive governments was becoming too much to bear.
He further intimated that it was disheartening that successive governments have done nothing about his area though the nation derives huge revenue from his region through agriculture.
While asking the people to remained patients, the Salaga North lawmaker assured the constituent that he will do all that he could to bring hope to them by ensuring that their bad roads are well constructed with other infrastructural facilities including the Senior High School, clinics and potable water.
Roads 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 site is moved to different homes as well as markets.
The Salaga North constituency is one of the major producer of most food crops and vegetables as well as animals grow in the country.
These crops and animals includes Maize, Yam, Cassava, Rice, grand nut, Okra, Beans, Cattle, goats, Sheep and domestic fowls.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba