MP calls for Afram plains roads to be fixed
The Member of Parliament for Kwahu Afram Plains North Constituency, Betty Nana Efua Krosby Mensah, has petitioned the Minister of Roads and Highway, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, to facilitate the release of $98 million meant for the construction of the Afram Plains Kwahu Tafo roads to boost agriculture in the area.
The money was re-allocated to the Ejisu-Konongo road because the second tranche of the loan meant for the construction of the Afram bridge to make the entire project complete was not ready. But the MP said if the minister had engaged stakeholders, he would have realised that the main concern of the people was the road and not the bridge.
Mrs Krosby Mensah said before the House rose, she filed an urgent question on the floor making a case for her constituents who appear to have been cut off from the rest of the country.
Parliament approved a total of €350 million commercial contract agreements for financing the construction of two major roads and a bridge to bolster agricultural productivity in the Afram Plains area in the Eastern Region.
The first agreement was between the government and Contracta Construction UK Limited for €150 million to construct the Bunso-Adawso road and specified approach roads to the Adawso Bridge project.
The 104-kilometre project comprises the Takorowatwen-Ekyi Amanfrom road (22 km), the Adawso-Kwahu Tafo Road (20 km), the Kwahu Tafo-Miaso road (29 km), the Miaso-Begoro road (26 km) and the Begoro-Obuoho road (7 km).
The second agreement is between the government and BNIP-Janson-Adowso Consortium of The Netherlands for €200 million to construct a bridge over the Afram River at Adawso-Ekyi Amanfrom.
Taking journalists on a tour within the constituency to assess the bad nature of the road, Mrs Krosby Mensah said a further delay would derail all the gains made in its food production to the country. Afram plains and especially Donkorkrom remains arguably Ghana's largest food basket, producing all kinds of produce to feed the citizens.
Unfortunately, the roads from the "port" (Pontoon) station to Donkorkrom is in a bad shape, making connection to smaller communities very difficult.
A journey that hitherto took just about an hour now takes between two-and-a- half to three hours.
Miscreants have taken advantage of the poor nature of the roads to rob residents of their belongings and even farm produce.
Subsequent to that, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has stationed armed security personnel at vantage points to curb the incidence.
Mrs Krosby Mensah appealed to the road minister to put away politics and consider the economic importance of the area towards the country's food security.
"As you can see, a lot of farm produce is stuck in the bushes due to the bad nature of the roads.
"It is important for us as a country to do something significant to salvage the situation," she told the media.
In her small way, however, the minister with the support of some prominent members of the constituency has embarked on fixing some internal roads to connect smaller communities.
Excavators are already on site and work has commenced in earnest to bring some respite to the people.