The continuation of the Agogo-Dome road in the Ashanti Region, aimed at connecting the Afram Plains to the Ashanti and Eastern regions, is required to make the huge investments made in the reconstruction of the stretch meaningful to motorists that ply the road from Agogo to the Afram Plains and beyond.
From Dome, the road continues to Kwesi Fanti, Maame Krobo, Forifori, Tease and Donkokrom, the capital of the Kwahu Afram Plains South District, but many travellers are discouraged from using that stretch of the road because it is currently in a bad condition. That stretch is about 18km.
The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) undertook the reconstruction exercise under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) project.
It was meant to open up the Afram Plains to commercial agriculture, but that is now a mere wish as the vast arable lands along the corridor are yet to be cultivated.
Only a handful of motorists were seen plying the road when Alhaji Sulemani, Minister of Roads and Highways, and some directors of the agencies under the ministry, GHA, Department of Feeder Roads and Department of Urban Roads, inspected some roads in the mountainous district.
Interacting with Alhaji Sulemani, the Kwahu Afram Plains South District Chief Executive, Mr Ibrahim Issaka, described the situation as a disincentive.
The minister and his directors visited the Afram Plains to see what intervention the government could put in place to improve road infrastructure to further open up the area for socio-economic development.
The people of Bruben and Mem-Chemfre, two communities in the Kwahu North District of the Afram Plains, interacted with the minister at separate durbars.
Bruben, according to the people, provides transit to the Dwarf Islands,which also have more than 200 villages, and needs a police post to ensure maximum protection.
The spokesperson for the community, Mr Emmanuel Kubi, said infrastructure was needed to enhance secondary and tertiary education in the community.
“We are very hungry for a secondary/technical school. We have set aside a parcel of land for that purpose, ” he said.
The spokesperson for Mem-Chemfre, Mr Eli Kakraba, attributed the endemic poverty in the area to the poor road network.
“We need more access roads connecting other communities rehabilitated so we can trade among ourselves,” he pleaded.
CDB loan to the rescue
Alhaji Sulemani told the people that the China Development Bank (CDB) loan the government was contracting from the Chinese government had a component for infrastructure development, including roads in the Afram Plains. He explained that the visit was to assess the existing road network and see how best it could be improved to enhance the efficient transportation of goods and services.
The MiDA project
The Agogo-Dome road is part of the US$70.63- million feeder roads constructed with funding from Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) to improve transportation linkages, enhance efficiencies and reduce transportation costs for farmers, output buyers and processors and to enhance the competitiveness of agriculture through the use of roads.
The US$70.63m of the Compact Funds was used to rehabilitate 357kms of feeder road segments across three zones, Savelugu-Nanton – 110.5 kms, Eastern/Central regions – 146.1 kms, and the Volta Region – 100.8 kms.