Barring any last-minute hitches, government will begin construction activities in two months’ time to improve the bad nature of roads in Gwira.
The cocoa-growing area has struggled over the years with dilapidated roads.
But Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr. Kwesi Amoako Atta, on July 2019 cut the sod for construction to begin on the deplorable roads in the Gwira Aiyinasi-Gwira Wiawso enclave at the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region.
Unfortunately, work on the project has not commenced following the sod-cutting.
This deplorable road network has been claiming many lives since 1974, according to community members, and has been crippling the area local economy.
The area, known for its agricultural potential, remains predominantly a cocoa growing area.
The chiefs and people there have been complaining and asking why the project has been delayed since the sod cutting.
In this regard, the Member of Parliament for the area, Catherine Afeku, led some thirteen (13) chiefs from the area to visit the Department of Feeder Roads in Accra over the weekend to ascertain why the construction has been delayed.
Addressing the chiefs, the Director of Department of Feeder Roads, Engineer Bernard Badu, thanked them for their time used in visiting the Department to do a follow-up on the project.
He therefore seized the opportunity to assure them that within two months’ time the contractor assigned to the project will be on-site to start construction activities.
He disclosed that following the sod-cutting activity, the contractor has not visited site to start work because of procurement processes.
He said: “We are sorry for the delay, but after the sod-cutting we had to come to Accra and work on documentation for the project; that is why work on your road has delayed. But now everything is set and in next two months the contractor will be on-site, so let us exercise patience”.
He reiterated that the contractor will complete the construction within 24 months’ time.
Meanwhile, the chiefs and people in the Gwira area have appealed for government to construct a steel bridge over the Ankobra River at Gwira Wiawso.
They explained that the bridge, when completed, will help them when they want to travel to Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality.
In response, the Director said the Department will visit the river to do a feasibility studies and inform government about it for the work to be factored into the road project.
On his part, the Chief of Ampasie, Nana Kojo Mensah II, thanked the MP for leading them to do a follow-up on the road.
He said the road network is in very terrible state, and used the opportunity to appeal for government to expedite action on the road.
He said the only means of transportation to the place was by motorbike – adding that pregnant women are being carried on motorbikes before reaching hospital to deliver when they find themselves in labour.
He commended government, while observing that no previous government has attempted to construct the road for them.
He said if this government is able to construct their road, they will reward it by voting massively for President Akufo-Addo and their MP, Catherine Afeku.
The chief disclosed that this is the first time a sitting Member of Parliament has led traditional rulers to Accra to fight for their area’s development.
On her part, the Member of Parliament for the area, Catherine Afeku, bemoaned how the road network has given problems to residents living there.
She said since 1974 no government has worked on the Gwira road network.
She assured the Chiefs that this current government will not disappoint them.
She charged the Department of Feeder Roads to support the contractor to be on site as soon as possible.
She seized the opportunity to disclose that President Akufo-Addo will visit the Gwira area to perform another ceremony for the commencement of Community Mining in November 2019.
In this regard, she appealed for the Department of Feeder Roads to ensure the contractor will be on site before arrival of the President.
She appealed to the chiefs to be in touch with the Director of Department of Feeder Roads for more updates about the construction work.
The 34-km stretch is being executed by Fridoug Construction Limited under the supervision of Department of Feeder Roads.