General News of Wednesday, 16 May 2018
The chiefs and people of Barekuma, a cocoa farming community in the Atwima Nwabiagya North district of the Ashanti region are appealing to the District Assembly and the Member of Parliament for the area to construct their collapsed bridge on River Offin, which links them to other communities as hundreds of cocoa bags remain locked out.
They said the collapsed bridge makes it difficult for them to access their farms, especially during the rainy seasons and some farmers have sustained various degrees of injuries by falling from it into the river while crossing, due to decayed wood slabs on it.
As a result, communities including Kapro, Pasoro, Marban, Aninkroma, Kumi, Barekuma have been cut off from their farms.
Speaking to Otec News’ reporter Jacob Agyenim Boateng on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the farmers complained that they stand the chance of been impoverished if they do not harvest their cocoa this season as it is their only source of income.
“Most of the farmers here depend on cocoa for our livelihood by selling them and if we cannot go and harvest them, how can we survive? If they don’t know, the country will lose a lot of revenue if the bridge is not reconstructed to enable us cross to our various farms to harvest our cocoa,” a farmer told the reporter.
“Apart from farming, we don’t trade in any commodity so we beg the authorities to come to our aid and repair the bridge for us which are in a deplorable state for the past fifteen years,” another resident said.
The Assembly member for the Barekuma Electoral Area Hon. Kwaku Appiah Kubi Saalia, noted that many cocoa farmers in the surrounding communities become stranded anytime there is heavy downpour of rain in an attempt to bring their commodities to Barekekuma, to be transported the harbor in Takoradi.
He added that students from other villages like Nyame Bekyere and Kwadwokrom have to swim to the other side of the river in order to go to school.