The Chief of Pitiku Traditional Area in Kwahu Afram Plains South District of the Eastern Region, Nana Adu Parko II has appealed to President Akufo-Addo to extend his sod- cuttings to the area to give hope to the people on the construction of a bridge across Afram river.
The ruling New Patriotic Party in 2016 promised the people in the area that, a bridge would be constructed over the 3Km stretch Afram River if it wins the election. This promise was reiterated in 2018 by President Akufo Addo during a visit to the area.
President Akufo Addo said “as I speak with you, four companies -two are from China, One is Brazilian then the other from Germany, have started feasibility studies. When they finish, they will bring their report so we analyse and discuss how the construction of the bridge comes into fruition”
According to Nana Adu Parko II, there is glimmer of hope as the first term of the President elapses but a sod-cutting ceremony by the President for the construction of the project before the election would demonstrate the political commitment towards its realization.
“They say Afram Plains is the food basket of the country but our roads are bad. Successive governments have neglected the area. We hear and see the massive road constructions in parts of the country but this area has been neglected. Due to the poor roads and absent of bridge on the Afram River farmers do not get buyers to buy their foodstuffs. Transport fare is expensive here so we are appealing for government to construct our road for us”.
The Chief added ” President Akufo Addo promised to also construct a bridge over the Afram River. It is a major hindrance to transportation to this are. You can set off with someone going to Wa from Accra, the person in Wa will arrive while the one going to Afram Plains struggles due to lack of a bridge. So we are appealing to President Akufo Addo to just cut sod for the bridge project so that at least it gives us hope that he is committed to the project “.Nana Adu Parko II told Starr News.
However the District Chief Executive for Kwahu Afram Plains South George Ofori says, feasibility studies on the project have been conducted awaiting Cabinet and Parliamentary approvals for funding to be secured for its commencement.
“Cabinet has approved it so it is now left with Parliament to approve it. Three contractors came down to do feasibility studies they have all sent their bills of quantity to the Ministry of Roads and Highways to be considered. They have also met and approved it we are only waiting for parliamentary approval for the project to start”
Afram Plains is a food basket of the country. It consists of two Districts—Afram Plains South and Afram Plains North with ‘Tease’ and Donkokrom as the district capitals respectively.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the people
Whiles investors from parts of the country acquire lands for commercial farming, many others are smallholder farmers.
Travelling to Kwahu Afram Plains in the stressful and full of anxiety. Apart from the long-distance deplorable road motorists need to cover, missing the only ferry working on the 3km stretch Afram River shutters commuters quest to cross the river on time.
Passengers could be stranded for four hours when the pontoon goes on break from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm.
After all these ordeals, passengers again endure the excruciating journey in rickety vehicles on the bumpy road from Enkye Amanfrom to ‘Tease’ through to Donkorkrom.
More worrying is the notorious highway robbers who often terrorize residents particularly during market days.
The construction of a bridge and rehabilitation of major road to the Kwahu Afram Plains is indefeasible due to its impact in stimulating the local economy and improving agriculture.