Agona Swedru has since time immemorial been plagued with flooding from the Akora River resulting in loss of several lives and properties.
The worst of such flooding was experienced in the year, 2010, whentrading activities, vehicular movements and all that werevirtually broughtto a standstill with loss of lives and propertiesand its associated untold hardships on residents of Swedru and its surrounding towns and villages.
The National Democratic Congress Government under the late President,Professor John Evans Atta Mills conceived the idea of finding a permanent solution to the flooding from River Akora.
The late President Mills ensured that all the necessary hydrological information were put together and had the contract for the Akora River drainage awarded before passing on to eternity.
The Akora drainage project is the first of its kind in Ghana and on completion will bring great relief to the residents of Swedru and surrounding towns and villages.
The Contractor, LAS ADVENTURASLIMITED came to site in October, 2012 and has sincebeen working tirelessly towards the realization of the terms of the contract.
On Sunday, February 9, 2014, whilst blasting the hard rocks in the river basin, the Bailey bridge was damaged.
The following are worthy of note:
The Member of Parliament, Hon. Charles Obeng-Inkoom and the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Samuel Oppong immediately visited the scene and inspected the bridge. The Member of Parliament and the Municipal Chief Executive quickly got in touch with relevant Government agencies overseeing the dredging project and informed them of the problem at hand.
The next day, Monday, 10th February, 2014, the then Central Regional Minister, Dr. Samuel Sarpong, Deputy Minister forRoads and Highways, Hon. Isaac AgyeiMensah and the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Akwasi Oppong-Fosu as well as a team from the Bridges Unit of Highways Authority, the Ghana Hydrological Service Department, the Armed Forces (Field Engineers Regiment) and the operations team from NADMO headquarters visited the damage bridge and assessed the situation.
The Member of Parliament and the Municipal Chief Executive have since been following up with a view to having the damaged bridge re-fixed. The bridge has finally been demolished by the Bridges Division of the Highway Authority.
However, further blasting needs to be carried out within the River basin where the damage occurred.
The Member of Parliament and Municipal Chief Executive working in close collaboration with the Contractor have finally secured clearance from the Security Agencies and Minerals commission for the subsequent blasting to be done.
Indeed Blasting Companies recommended by the Ghana Minerals Commission have since visited the site on Saturday, 26th April, 2014, and the Contractor has finalized arrangements for the blasting to resume early next week. This is expected to take about two weeks after which the Bailey bridge would be fixed.
As part of efforts to mitigate the plight of road users and to reduce the traffic situation occasioned, the Member of Parliament and the Municipal ChiefExecutive engaged the Contractor for the creation of alternative routes for use by drivers at Otabilkrom. This, the Contractor has been working on at times till mid night.
Clearly, it cannot be true that the Member of Parliament, Hon. Charles Obeng-Inkoom, the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Samuel Oppong and the Contractor, Las Adventuras Limited are insensitive to the plights of the residents in the affected areas.
ALLEGED SOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CHIEFS
Some persons with anti-progress mindsets are peddling falsehood that the Swedruhene was not in the know of such a dredging project in the Akora River. And that the government and the Agona West Municipal Authorities have disrespected the custodians of theland – This is NEVER true.
For the records, after taking over the site for the project, the Contractor officially introduced himself to the Chiefs of Swedru. Even before date, the Contractor who was in the company of the Member of Parliament, Hon. Charles Obeng-Inkoomvisited Nana at his residence near the Bailey bridge and was introduced by the Member of Parliament to Nana.
Subsequently, the Contractor met the Chiefs and performed all the necessary customary rites before proceeding to execute the works under the contract.
Thereafter, there have been several interactions; the Contractor was on hand when the Consultant to the project scheduled a meeting with the Chiefs even though the meeting did not come on as planned.
NANA BOTWE’s HOUSE
Nana’s house was affected by the blasting, but the following have been done:
• An assessment has been made and the real damage ascertained
• Contractor has fixed new long span roofing sheets as replacement for the portions of the roof damaged by the blasting in the month of February, 2014.
• The house is to be re-roofed after the completion of the further blasting works.
It is also not true that the Contractor and for that matter the Member of Parliament and the Municipal Chief Executive have all failed to address the problem on Nana’s house.
It is regrettable and unfortunate that the Agona West NPP by their Press Conference (on Monday, 28th April, 2014) has been on record as the only entity to have used an occurrence of a disaster and its associated consequences to score cheap political points.
It has never happened anywhere in the country before. This is because,the good people of Ghana understand that disaster is no respecter of persons and has no political colour andso the Agona West Communication team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) expects the NPP in Agona West to know better.
Agona West NDC want to point it out that, the NPP has no moral right here in Agonaman to talk about bridges, roads, culverts or even disaster related issuesgiving the sterling achievements of the NDC in Agonaman in such areas. NPP had a Member of Parliament for Agona West Constituency for an unprecedented 12-years and this MP whowas also theChairman of the Roads and Highway Committee of Parliament and at a point the Deputy Central Regional Minister, but sadly, they could not construct a single bridge in the Municipality even when Agona West needed about six additional bridges then. The NPP in the 12-years that they took Agonaman hostage in our Parliamentary system did not also renovate any of the existing bridges, no road expansion took place here in Agona West. Also, not even a single road was tarred throughout the eight years that they were in power here in the municipality.
There was a major flood disaster in June, 2010 in Agonaman but the leader of their party, Nana Akufo-Addo could not step his foot in Agonaman even though President Atta Mills, most of his cabinet ministers, Mr. Kofi Portuphyof NADMOcame here to assessed the situation and immediately secured funding for the reconstruction of all damaged public infrastructures in the municipality which included roads, bridges, culverts, school buildings, restoration of power, water and telephone cables among others.
These and several other interventions by the NDC Government reinforce the Agona West NDC’s position that the NPP has no moral right to talk about damage Bailey bridge or any disaster in the Municipality.
The National Democratic Congress as a Social Democratic Party will not abandon the project and that His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama and his government are committed to realizing the vision of the late President J.E.A. Mills for the good people of Agona Swedru.
The NDC administration during the era of His Excellency Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings fixed the major road networks in the Swedru Township namely:
• Otabilkorm bypass road,
• Greenland bypass (SY-Ahamadiyyha Hospital) road,
• Nkubem – Eguabriso road,
• Dwenho Township roads,
• Manhodwe Top Hill road,
• Swedru Pipe Tank road etc..
Under visionary leadership of the late President Prof. J. E. A. Mills and now President John Dramani Mahama, the NDC government has constructed bridges and culverts in Swedru Township. These have all saved Agonaman from further disasters. Among them are:
• Manhodwe (Holy Ghost) bridge,
• Asukwanteng Bridge,
• Yaabem Bridge
• Mangoase Bridge
• Nkubem-Central Gospel Church Bridge etc.
The Contractor needs the co-operation of all for the timely execution of the project and not empty threats as seen on the part of the New Patriotic Party in Agona West being championed by its enthusiastic 2nd Vice Chairman, Jibrile TankoToye on Monday, 28th April, 2014.
We, however, apologize for the inconvenient caused and assure the good people of Swedru and for that matter Agonaman that the problem is being addressed on daily basis and would soon be over.
AGONA WEST NDC
0244 -576 -485
MRS. EVELYN CAB-ADDAE
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