Weija Footbridge opened for use
Residents and schoolchildren of Weija can now heave a sigh of relief following the inauguration of a footbridge across the Densu River to ease their movement to and from the town.
A ceremony was held yesterday to officially open the bridge to the community.
Beaming with smiles, Samuel Asare, a pupil of the Weija Presbyterian Primary School, said, ‘I am so happy because now it is easy to walk to school. I don’t have to fear that the bus will leave me behind or that I will sit in a canoe to cross the river.’
Started in March, this year, the 40-metre steel footbridge was funded by the Ga South Municipal Assembly.
The construction of the GH¢339,050-bridge brings to an end the torture the residents of Weija and schoolchildren in particular had to go through on daily basis as they move to and from school and their workplaces.
A plan for a vehicular bridge is being considered to provide an alternative route to Weija and its environs.
The construction of the bridge followed a Daily Graphic publication on June 21, 2012, which drew attention to the dire situation of more than 400 pupils of Ayigbe Town, SCC, Bortianor and Broadcasting, all communities behind the Weija Dam, who got stranded every morning as a result of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) closing its gate, the only route the pupils used to their schools.
Another report, published on September 14, 2012, said the closure of the bridge had resulted in some 250 pupils of the Weija Cluster of Schools abandoning their education.
The Ministry of Transport responded to the plight of the children by providing a Metro Mass Transit bus to convey the children to school daily, in the interim.
In a brief address at the opening ceremony, the Ga South Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Jerry A. Thompson, explained that the assembly was not indifferent to the plight of the people of Weija and the other affected communities but that projects of that nature had to go through stages, including designing, appraisal and sustainability test, before execution to ensure value for money.
He said the project was not only reactive to the Daily Graphic reports but also proactive, as it had been captured in the work plan of the assembly under the Local Government Capacity Support Project’s Urban Development Grant before the publications.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Julius Debrah, stated that the completion of the bridge was a sign of the government’s commitment to deliver on its promises.
‘Governance is about meeting the needs of people. We’ll push to ensure that the vehicular bridge is constructed,’ he added.
The Dzasetse of Weija, Nii Boafo Daanyinanse, while commending the government for its response to the needs of the community, also urged it to expedite action on the construction of the vehicular bridge to improve economic activities in Weija and its surrounding areas.
In the absence of the footbridge, some of the residents had to depend on canoes that ferried them across the river for a fare of 20Gp per trip.
With the bridge bringing the canoe trips to end, Mr Michale Adenyo, a resident of the area, said, ‘This is a very positive development in our area. I hope that the assembly will take good care of it.’
By Seth Bokpe/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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