Zanlerigu Residents demand rehabilitation of roads

By Anthony Apubeo, GNA 

Zanlerigu (UE), Oct. 18, GNA – Residents of
Zanlerigu community and its environs in the Nabdam District have expressed
disappointment at government’s inability to rehabilitate the roads linking the
various communities to the Zanlerigu Market leading to post-harvest losses.

They lamented that the feeder roads, which
linked the farming communities to the Market, were in a terrible state,
preventing farmers from transporting their produce, especially perishable goods
like tomatoes, resulting in post-harvest losses.

They expressed these frustrations at a press
conference, organized by the Zanlerigu Langube Development Association (ZALDA),
a community based organization of smallholder farmers in Zanlerigu and
supported by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund.

Mr Maxwell Divom, the Secretary of ZALDA, said
Gundogu, Barichi, Zubolog, Woredaa, Dalga and Gaage were the most affected
communities, adding that they had recorded huge post-harvest losses over the
years, because of the deplorable nature of the roads.

“The impact of these perennial losses on us as
farmers, on our families and on our community at large is beyond what words can
describe. The damage being done to goods and services, as vehicles get stuck in
the muddy portions of the roads, particularly in the rainy season is
unquantifiable.”

According to the Secretary “The amount of
money and revenue being lost to individuals and government on daily basis as a
result of the appalling nature of the roads is equally unimaginable. This is
because the Zanlerigu Market is so integral to trading activities that it also
attracts traders from far away communities like Bolgatanga, Kayonga, Kpali,
Kpatia, Kongo, Nangodi, Pelungu and Zuarungu”.

He explained that between 2011 and 2012, as a
result of an advocacy action ZALDA undertook, which was supported by the BUSAC
Fund, the then Talensi-Nabdam District Assembly constructed the Zanlerigu
Irrigation Dam to ensure all year round agricultural activities in the area,
however, due to the bad nature of the roads, farmers did not get any benefits
from the project, as accessing the market became difficult.

Mr Divom stated, “our pain as ZALDA has become
so unbearable that we wish to use this platform to demand immediate attention
from the Nabdam District Assembly and the Department of Feeder Roads to ensure
that the roads are not just fixed but also done with quality that will stand
the test of time”

The Secretary disclosed that ZALDA in
collaboration with BUSAC Fund and its partners including the DANIDA, USAID and
the European Union were undertaking an advocacy action campaign to have the
roads rehabilitated and would not relent on their efforts to have the roads
fixed.

“We wish to state that the construction of the
feeder roads and culverts will bring enormous benefits to the Nabdam District
Assembly, farmers and traders in the area and beyond. Among others it will
increase the revenue base of the District Assembly, create additional
employment opportunities, increase income levels of farmers and traders and
expand the Zanlerigu market,” he added.

Mr Walla Dag-bama, the Assemblyman for the
Zanlerigu-Dalga Electoral Area, explained that the situation had not affected
only farming activities in the area, but had further adversely affected
education and health care as school children and pregnant women found it
difficult to ply the deplorable roads.

The Assemblyman, who doubles as the Presiding
Member for the Nabdam District Assembly clarified that the action was not
directed at the Asonge-Zanlerigu-Sakote road, which was already being awarded
on contract, but the feeder roads that linked the various communities to the
Zanlerigu market, schools and health centres.

GNA

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