General News of Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Barimah Kwame Asante Betiani II, Chief of Atibie of the Kwahu Traditional Council in the Kwahu South District of the Eastern Region has threatened to block the road that links the town to the paragliding site during the Easter Festivities, if government fails to fix the road which is in a poor state.
According to the Atibie Chief, the dusty nature of the road leaves the town covered with dust making life uncomfortable whenever the festival is in progress due to the large number of patrons (Ghanaians and foreigners) who troop to the venue to witness or participate in the festival.
Barimah Kwame Asante Betiani II, explained to DAILY GUIDE that as has been the ritual, the District Assembly and the Ghana Tourist Authority every year only use trips of sand to level the erosion plagued road weeks to the paragliding festival, but the road returns to it poor state in a matter of days.
This is not the first time the Chief has threatened to stop the festival, he did same last year but the event took place. He is, however, bent on carrying out his threat this year if the status quo remains.
The angry chief narrating further stated that, “The amount of money that government makes from the 3 or 4 days festival is huge, but governments in the past had never considered our interest and health by fixing the road.”
Nana Barimah Asante posited that, “every year after the event, we contract various ailments due to the amount of dust generated in the town. If you go to the Atibie Hospital the records are there, each year they promise that the road will be fixed but once the festival ends and they get their money, they forget about us.”
Nana lamented over the fact that since inception of the paragliding festival, custodians of the land are yet to receive any material benefits.
“Not even a dime from the proceeds of the festival has been given to us custodians of the land by government to help us develop the town. That is why we are saying the government should suspend the paragliding festival this year and take its time to construct the road for us. If the festival is not held this year, it wouldn’t be out of place,” he stressed.