Effutu makes strides in projects
The determination of the Member of Parliament (MP) to leave footprint in his community has resulted in widespread projects in the Effutu Constituency.
Currently, the Effutu Constituency/Municipality in the Central Region is arguably one of the most organised municipalities in the country.
Its residents have commended the resolute collaboration and cooperation between the Effutu Municipal Assembly and the office of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for the constituency, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, as the major reason for the developmental agenda in the last few years.
From clinics to libraries, classroom blocks, markets, and police stations, the constituency keeps changing by the day into a modern society.
The MP told the Daily Graphic that the constituency had seen more than 60 projects since 2017.
The Reconciliation roundabout
Some of the constituents who spoke to the Daily Graphic called for a continued unity of purpose to accelerate the development of the area.
"The MP is good and he has the support of the assembly and they are working together very well, Nicholas Esoun, a beneficiary of one of the MP’s programmes, stated.
Another resident, Rita Gyimah Frimpong, indicated that the rapport between the MP and the assembly was commendable and positively impacting the communities.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Effutu, Alhaji Kasim Zubiru, said the harmony between the two offices was significant to achieve results in the constituency/municipality.
Corroborating, Mr Afenyo-Markin said their relationship dated back to their schooldays.
As a coastal town hosting some of Central Region’s most interesting and scenic beach fronts and well-laid-out communities, Winneba, the constituency/municipal capital, has some interesting places for visitors.
Aboakyer and Tourism
Winneba is acclaimed for its unique Aboakyer (Deer Hunt) festival, which brings the whole community, Ghanaians and expatriates together annually for its celebration.
One of the Asafo companies returning with a catch during the Aboakyer (Deer Hunt) festival
The constituency also has very scenic beaches which can be further developed into hospitality facilities to boost its tourism potentials.
Effutu Heritage Centres
Indeed, through the efforts of the MP and the municipal assembly, some heritage centres which serve as tourism facilities were recently developed at Winneba.
The heritage centres include the Unity Square, the Osimpam Heritage Centre and two fishing monuments at Akosua Village and Eyipey.
The breathtaking historic structures add to the beauty of the constituency's capital.
The MP, Afenyo-Markin, in earlier reports noted that there had been a positive response since the establishment of the heritage centres as visitors patronise the facility daily, with thousands of people trooping to the centres during festival periods.
The project was funded by the MP, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader, as his contribution towards the opening up of Winneba to the outside world.
However, more could be done to attract many more tourists to the constituency.
Fishing and landing site
The inhabitants, predominantly fishermen at Winneba, Nsuekyir, Warabeba and Akosua Village, were grateful for the landing beach project undertaken in the area.
The fishermen in the area commended the government for the construction of a landing site to boost fishing in the area.
The assembly member for Penkye, Fiifi Sackey, whose electoral area hosts the landing site, indicated that the landing site had further enhanced economic activities in the area.
"Before the project, many of our fishermen had left the community to other fishing communities because there was no landing site for their canoes.
The project has boosted the economic activities in the area.
Now they are closer to home and this has brought stability to most homes too," he stated.
He said, however, that the construction of the landing site had in a way impacted negatively on the sanitary conditions in the area.
Inadequate drainage system
"We have no properly structured drainage system and the situation has been worsened by the landing site because now the water cannot go into the sea.
The situation needs urgent attention," he stressed.
The new Effutu municipal assembly complex
The assembly member for Dormaabra Otutuase, Richard Okyere Keelson, also said his electoral area was in dire need of a drainage system.
"We also need drainage facilities to improve the sanitation condition in the area," he added.
He said the lack of drainages and the rains had worsened the sanitary conditions in the area.
He also called for improved access roads to open up the area to more visitors.
"The people here need well-constructed roads.
This one gets flooded when it rains, making it difficult for vehicles to access the community.
There is approximately 150km road network in the municipality but only 30 per cent is tarred or with surface dressing and five per cent is asphalted.
The remaining 65 per cent are gravel-surfaced roads.
The MCE for Effutu said some roads that were receiving attention included the by-pass (from Cape Coast) through Low Cost Arena and Eyigya Lodge, around the MP’s house.
However, Alhaji Zubiru said the pace of work was worryingly slow, saying the contract would be re-assessed.
The Effutu Constituency houses the main campus of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
It has 78 pre-schools, 77 primary schools and 47 junior high schools (JHSs).
Though the Winneba Senior High School is the only public second cycle institution in the municipality, there are seven other private senior high schools, including two technical and vocational institutions, in the constituency.
The Effutu Constituency is also home to a community health nurses training school and a police staff and command college.
The politics of Effutu Constituency has been around two darling men from the two main political parties in the country who have held the seat at least three times as Members of Parliament.
In the early stages of the Fourth Republic, Mike Allen Hammah of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who held the seat for three terms, as the constituency MP.
He won the seat with 55 per cent of the votes to beat Brigadier Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (retd) in 1996.
In the 2000 parliamentary elections, he won again, beating the NPP's Oheneba Akyeampong by a slim margin.
In 2004, with his party in power, an NPP new entrant toppled Mike Hammah after polling 51 per cent of the total votes cast.
But in 2008, Mike Hammah made a strong comeback to reclaim the seat with 55 per cent of votes cast.
In 2012, a youthful Alexander Afenyo-Markin emerged on the scene, put up a strong fight and unseated Mike Hammah with 19,334 votes, representing 53.6 per cent of the votes.
That marked the beginning of his three consecutive reign as the custodian of the Effutu Constituency parliamentary seat.
Afenyo-Markin further stretched the gap in the next election, polling 62 per cent of votes cast as against NDC's Eric Don Arthur's 34 per cent in 2016.
In 2020, Afenyo-Markin polled 33,545 votes to be re-elected - the first MP to have been elected three consecutive times as MP for the Effutu Constituency.
By all indications, Afenyo-Markin's "reign" is far from over, making the constituency a stronghold for the NPP.
His numerous development projects in the municipality and support for many constituents by setting them up has made him a probable winner in the next parliamentary elections in 2024.
The residents spoke highly of the MP, saying his works might enable him to retain the seat in the next election.
“He has supported a lot of the youth with start-ups and that is great,” Ali Yakubu stated.
Recently, Afenyo-Markin registered some 100 skilled workers for a certification examination.
He has also supported hundreds of the inhabitants to acquire livelihood skills.
A beneficiary of the skills certification programme by the MP, Priscilla Ohenewaa Kumah, said the examination reinforced her abilities, which was a testament of what she could do, and therefore thanked the MP for the gesture.
Municipal Assembly projects
Alhaji Zibiru said the municipal assembly office complex was one remarkable project that had been completed.
Alhaji Kasim Zubiru, MCE — Effutu
He said the lighting up of the municipality had been one of the success stories of his administration.
He said to improve security in the municipality, the assembly rehabilitated 100 street lights across the municipality and also erected 15 new ones.
Again, he said the construction of a satellite market at Osubonpanyin and the grading of some selected roads in the municipality had improved access and boosted economic activities in the beneficiary communities.
Also, he said the assembly had undertaken a teachers and nurses quarters project at Ndaamba, while the rehabilitation of classroom facilities at Sankor and Okomfoadae had provided a more conducive environment for the pupils and teachers.
He indicated that contracts had been awarded for several infrastructural projects, including classroom blocks at Nsuekyir, Unipra North, Akosua Village, Agyaa Lodge, and Low Cost.
The projects of the MP spread across the length and breadth of the constituency, giving the constituents cause to believe that he would retain the seat for the NPP, all things being equal.
The beautiful Reconciliation Roundabout is noticeable by all who ply the Winneba junction route.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin — MP for Effutu
The MP said the monument was to promote unity without which there could be no development.
To improve healthcare services in the constituency, he has built a clinic each at Akosua Village, Woarabeba and Kojo Beedu communities.
In the area of security, the MP has also completed and handed over four police stations to the Ghana Police Service.
They were constructed at Ntakofam, Essuekyir, Ateitu and New Winneba.
To promote education, Afenyo-Markin has also built, furnished and handed over the Effutu Central Library to the community and a furnished three-classroom unit block for ACM School at Winneba.
He has also built a library each for Kojo Beedu and Gyahadze, and a community centre each at Kojo Beedu and New Winneba.
His aide, Godwin Kusi Danquah, said the vision of the MP was to give every electoral area a community centre, library and clinic.
Some ongoing projects he listed included a market at Yepemso, a community Centre at Osubonpanyin, Alata Kokodo, Woarabeba, New Winneba and Alata Kokodo.
The clinic at Kojo Beedu community undertaken by the MP
The MP, Mr Danquah noted, had also begun the construction of the first children's hospital at Gyengyanadze, a rural community in the constituency.
The 2021 Population and Housing Census put the constituency's population at 107,798, comprising 54,723 males and 53,075 females.
The municipality was carved from the then Awutu–Effutu-Senya Municipal Assembly and established by the Local Government Act (Act 462) and L.I.1860 in 2007.