General News of Tuesday, 21 January 2020
It could produce for the country, millions of cedis when completed, with internally generated revenue and processed cocoa, but it’s been over a decade and an uncompleted structure still remains deserted in the heart of Mampong Akuapem.
The structure which was constructed on the occasion of Ghana’s 50th Anniversary is currently rotting away with each passing day.
The 12-year-old structure is not only left at the mercy of the weather, it is also now a place for weeds.
Reptiles now have a filled day using the structure as an abode; snakes, lizards and toads alike.
A visit to the place by www.ghanaweb.com revealed the devastating state of the building.
Situated on the same land as the Jubilee Farm House, farmers on the land find it very disturbing that they have to transfer produce from their harvest all the way to the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) at Tafo for processing to take place.
Farm Assistant, Bismark Sakyi explained to the team;
“We were here 12 years ago when they began constructing this structure. The project was started during the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence, under the erstwhile Kufuor government.
From then till now, no other government has even come to see what has become of it.
“When President Akufo-Addo came into power however, he alerted the Mampong Hene and Hackman Owusu Agyeman. They also came and saw what was left of it and promised to come back and complete it. They got the metals for the roofing painted and got some wood as well but it’s been over a year and nothing is happening.”
Clothes were hanging in parts of the building at the time the team visited. About that, Mr. Sakyi said:
“Since the structure hasn’t been roofed the contractor brought a care taker to live here to oversee the structure. It is their clothes we see. We usually see snakes, lizards and all types of reptiles here.”
The situation he says is more worrying because the factory which would have brought employment and created jobs for the youth of the area is rotting away whilst leadership sits aloof.
“When we produce the cocoa, we have to transfer all the produce to CRIG at Tafo. This wouldn’t have been the case if we had the factory completed. We could have done the processing and everything here. All the cocoa farms here in Akuapem would have also benefitted greatly.
Many of our youth are jobless and it has led them to engage in all forms of unscrupulous activities. Most of the ladies have become promiscuous as a result and the guys have also turned to smoking weed and sometimes engage in armed robbery.”
After Ivory Coast, Ghana is the second largest cocoa exporter in the world. Situated closer to the first ever cocoa plantation by Tetteh Quarshie in Mampong in the Akwapim South District of the Eastern Region, the factory was put up with the sole aim of processing chocolate for export to the International market.
Chocolates from the factory were to be marked as souvenirs and tagged as ones from the original home of cocoa when exported abroad.