Upper West Region on right path to growth - Minister
The Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, has said the region is on the right path to growth following the implementation of various life-changing projects.
Giving an update of some interventions in the region by the government over the past six years, the minister said since 2017, there had been some major key interventions in the health and sanitation, education, road and transport and energy sectors in the region which has 11 municipalities and districts and a population of 901,502.
Throwing light on some infrastructure in the road and transport sector, he said the region had improved its air transport with the establishment of the Wa Airport and the Passport Office, as well as the upgrading of roads and the construction of bridges.
According to him, 220.29 kilometres of roads, comprising 127.6km of highways, 63.70km of feeder roads and 28.99km of urban roads, had been completed.
They included the upgrading of the Nadowli-Lawra-Hamile, the Fian-Issa and the Kaleo-Sankana-Takpo roads and the rehabilitation of selected roads in the Nandom and the Lawra municipalities, he said.
The construction of two major bridges over the Kulon and the Hamba Laara rivers had also been completed, he added.
Dr Salih also mentioned the dualisation of the 2km Nandom roads project, which would cost GH¢85.2m, as well as the Kambaa Bridge on the Lawra-Nandom road and the Dangbang Bridge on the Jirapa-Nandom road, which had been awarded on contract.
The 85km Tumu-Han-Lawra road, he added, had also been awarded, saying that when completed, it would address the transportation challenges facing people in the north-eastern belt of the region, which is a major food basket.
Health, water and sanitation
Work, Dr Salih further said, was also progressing steadily on the construction of five district hospitals at Wechiau, Funsi, Lambussie, Issa and Gwollu under the Agenda 111 project.
The various municipal and district assemblies, he said, had also completed the construction of 87 health infrastructure, including CHPS compounds, hospital wards and staff accommodation, contributing significantly to healthcare delivery in those communities.
The minister added that the number of doctors had increased from 48 in 2016 to 79; medical assistants from 58 to 90 and nurses from 2,372 to 4,829.
He, however, said maternal and infant mortality rates were still high in the region, and that the Wa Regional Hospital would soon be upgraded to a teaching hospital.
On water and sanitation, the minister said the Jambusi Water Treatment Plant, which was completed in 2017, had increased water supply to the people of Wa, adding that 56 kilometres of pipelines had been laid by the Ghana Water Company to increase urban water coverage to communities around the Wa municipality.
“Some major investments have also been made in the rural water sector, with 250 boreholes constructed in 231 communities in five districts at a total cost of GH¢5.48m,” he said.
In the energy sector, he said the government had completed a 13 megawatt peak Kaleo solar power plant which would add to the 6.5MWp established in Lawra in 2018.
“Work has also commenced on the construction of phase II of the Kaleo plant to add 15 megawatts peak. When completed, it will make the region the largest contributor of solar energy to the national energy mix,” he said.
“The region has largely received its share of the national development cake. We, however, continue to advocate more interventions, especially in the roads and health sectors,” Dr Salih said.