Businesses cry for better roads in Ghana’s industrial heartland

The road to one of the country’s industrial enclaves in Tema where major industries are sited -stretching from the Valco roundabout up to the main township of the Kpone-Kantamanso Community – is so deplorable that it can easily qualify as the worst road in the Tema municipality.

On both sides of the road is where most of the country’s manufacturing companies are located.

The Tema Oil Refinery, Sentuo Steel Company Limited, ALUWORKS Limited, Global Haulage, Tema Tank Farm, Sunon Asogli Power Plant, Toyota Ghana’s Tema branch and Cocoa Processing Company, among others, can all be found along this deplorable road. The decrepit state of the road shows a total neglect by city authorities and the Ghana Highways Authority.

The irony of the matter is that some of these companies have constructed the road that starts from the junction of the main road to the entrance of their companies’ premises.

For instance, the Sunon Asogli Power Plant has done a concrete road from the junction of the road that goes to the company’s premise.

The Sen Tuo Ceramics, which is part of the Sen Tuo Steel Company, has also constructed a concrete road that only leads to the company’s premises.

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These companies are some of the country’s highest taxpayers and therefore deserve proper roads to facilitate their businesses.

 

Corporate social Responsibility project?

Residents have raised concerns about the companies’ ability to construct expensive concrete roads from the main deplorable road to their premises – but will not pool resources to fix the road, as has been done by some mining companies in the Western Region as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“For several years we have lived with these big companies and their long vehicles; the least they can do for us is to fix this road,” Clement, a taxi driver, told the B&FT.

He said the appalling nature of the road has made life difficult for both commercial drivers and residents.

A resident of the area who identified herself as Awura Ama said: “We understand it if roads in some rural communities are bad. But not a main road that leads to some of the country’s ‘biggest’ industries. Are they only here to make profit and not pay back to the community?

“They are the major beneficiaries of this road. Now if this road is blocked, they will lose millions of dollars. Yes, because they cannot transport their products to their suppliers and their suppliers cannot come and buy from them.”

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