‘Chieftaincy disputes a threat to the Eastern Region’
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darffuor, has called on the Regional House of Chiefs to help solve the chieftaincy disputes that are threatening the peace and security of the region.
He said in recent times, chieftaincy disputes had become rife in the region thereby creating a lot of tension and unnecessary burden on the Regional Security Council (REGSEC).
Mr Darffuor said this at the maiden edition of the Ghana Journalists Association stakeholders review meeting held in Koforidua.
The event created a platform for stakeholders, including public institutions and non-governmental organisations, to meet with journalists to share their successes and challenges in the implementation of programmes, their plans and also their strategies for the way forward.
Mr Darffuor noted that a major challenge facing the region was road accidents.
“Road casualties leave much to be desired,” he stressed, and cited that from January to September last year, 2,167 vehicles were involved in accidents; 258 pedestrians were knocked down by vehicles; 293 deaths were recorded and 1,650 people injured.
According to him, the estimated contribution of the Eastern Region to the national data on traffic crashes was 52 per cent, which, he said, was “highly unacceptable.”
Touching on health care , Mr Darffuor said effective disease surveillance and response activities had prevented disease outbreaks and their associated deaths in the region.
The region also recorded a 21 per cent reduction of maternal mortality, from 108 deaths in 2017 to 85 in 2018, “but we have to still work harder to achieve zero deaths.”
Mr Darffuor further stated that the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) employed 1,861 youths between 2017 and 2018.
He stated that the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCO), also received 7,835 Ghanaian trainees in the seven modules of the programme,
In respect to the One District One Factory (1D1F) programme, Mr Darffuor said 10 companies in the Asuogyaman, Nsawam Adoagyir, Suhum, Fanteakwa, the Birim South and West Akyem districts had received funding in the areas of timber, charcoal and paper production; processing of cassava into starch, the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals for exports, fruit and avocado processing and sewing of garments for the local markets and for export.
Mr Darffuor stated that about 70 per cent of MASLOC loans disbursed in the region had been recovered.
"As at 2018, there has been massive education across the region to sensitise people to the need for MASLOC loans to be repaid,” he said and expressed his happiness at the high rate of payment.
Roads and Infrastructure
On the status of the roads, Mr Darffuor said the Department of Urban Roads applied part of its budgetary allocation from the Ghana Road Fund towards the implementation of periodic maintenance works on about 160 km of town roads across the municipalities and some districts in the region.
In addition, the region succeeded in procuring eight new road network projects under the 2018 Road Maintenance Programme.
These were the partial reconstruction of the Kwabeng-Abomosu-Asuom, Asuom-Subi-Kade, Kwabeng-Akropong and Akropong town roads.
Others were the Akropong-Pramkese-Adankrono, the 224 km Adankrono-Kade-New Abirem and the Osiem-Begoro roads
Furthermore, emergency construction of three cell culverts to replace the Kasawere River Bridge on the Agona Swedru-Akim Oda road was undertaken.
Other ongoing emergency projects, he added, were the Koforidua-Mamfe road, an upgrade of the Anyinam-Kwabeng road, partial reconstruction of Kyebi-Apedwa road and a reconstruction of internal roads of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG).