One of the poor roads in the Western Region
It has been observed that the deplorable nature of the roads in the Western Region is creating a lot of problems as it is extremely difficult for drivers to cart foodstuffs from the hinterland to the urban centres, although the region prides prides itself with the accolade, ‘…the best comes from the West.’
The region has resources such as timber, cocoa, gold, manganese, bauxite, and now crude oil, yet it is one of the least developed in the country.
At a brief ceremony to hand over the administration of the region to the incoming Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, the outgoing Regional Minister, Ebenezer Teye Addo, remarked that the major challenge retarding the development of the region were the poor road networks.
He wondered why the region, which is the food basket of the country, should grapple with the problem of poor road networks, particularly, in areas where natural resources abound.
‘You can build modern hospitals in the Sefwi Wiawso area and have the best schools there but because of the poor road network doctors and teachers might not accept transfer to the area’, he noted.
He, however, recounted that at a recent visit by President John Mahama to the region, he pledged the government’s commitment to rehabilitate roads in the Western Region to facilitate easy transportation of minerals, timber and other natural resources to the urban centres.
Joe Quashie Gidisu, a former Minister of Roads and Transport who visited the region sometime ago when he was in office, remarked that there was no justification for the region to have poor roads since the area has abundant natural resources, which are a major component of the country’s economy.
Mr. Gidisu therefore promised that the Ministry would liaise with the timber processing companies in the area and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to prevail on the Ghana Cocoa Board to co-operate with government to undertake periodic maintenance of the roads.
He said government was committed to implementing its road infrastructural development plan contained in the National Democratic Congress manifesto.
Mr. Gidisu also pointed out that government would award road contracts to local contractors who know the terrain better so as to spur them on to perform better.
The Tarkwa to Bogoso-Prestea road tops the list of poor roads in the region. The 70-kilometre Prestea-Nkwanta-Samreboi road, the 56-kilometre Sefwi Bekwai-Asankragwa road, in the Asankragwa District, and the 70-kilometre Sefwi Wiawso-Akontombra stretch in the Sefwi Wiawso District, are all in deplorable state.
The rest are the 17-kilometre Sefwi Bodi-Juaboso road, in the Juaboso District and the 84-kilometre Bencheman-Osei Kojokrom road in the Bia District.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi
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