Eastern corridor roads finally witness massive face-lift

President Nana Akufo-Addo addressed the chiefs and people of Nkwanta in the Oti Region last weekend, and stated that the situation where farm produce goes waste as a result of bad feeder roads will soon be a thing of the past.

The president acknowledged that the produce of many farmers get rotten in the farms due to the deplorable state of roads there. Consequently, the president promised to replicate the feeder roads cocoa construction model to prevent farm produce from going waste.

This will obviously bring feelings of joy and relief to the chiefs and people of Nkwanta, who have lived with some of the worst roads in the country which witnessed little or no attention – leaving them in a sorry state, particularly, when the rains come down.

Roads there become impassable while the bulk of agricultural produce from the breadbasket regions of northern Ghana have to transit through the Eastern corridor to reach Accra with great difficulty, and inflates the prices of agricultural produce because of the roads’ bad state.

Successive governments in the Fourth Republic have either payed lip-service to rehabilitating the Eastern corridor or neglected it completely; hence, it is a feather-in-the cap of the Nana-led administration that work will finally commence on that stretch of road.

The assurance has been corroborated by the Roads and Highways Minister, Amoako Atta, who stated that ongoing works on the Eastern Corridor roads is not a nine-day wonder but a genuine commitment to completing the most talked-about road in the country.

The Eastern corridor road is considered one of the most important roads in the country, as it connects Northern Ghana and other landlocked countries north of Ghana to Southern Ghana. For over a decade, the road has always been in the budget and plans of government – but little has been achieved toward completing it.

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Amoako Atta gave assurance the work begun on the Eastern corridor will continue till it is completed, and that this is not just an electioneering gimmick. Given the economic importance of the Eastern corridor, we are greatly moved that finally this all-important road infrastructure will receive a face-lift and become motorable so that goods carted from northern Ghana will reach market centres in good time and in good condition, so the labour of thousands of farmers will be adequately rewarded.

Sub-regional attempt to contain Covid-19 epidemic commendable

ECOWAS health ministers held a one-day meeting in the Malian capital, Bamako, last weekend to discuss strategies for preventing the novel coronavirus outbreak that is causing fear and panic around the globe.

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) charged member-countries to implement robust measures that assure availability of critical medical supplies, including laboratory materials and personal protective equipment in the region.

It also called for strengthened coordination, communication and collaboration among member-states in preparedness for a Covid-19 epidemic, including cross-border collaboration. It is timely that WAHO called health ministers of the sub-region to discuss and strategise for what appears to be an impending viral outbreak that is confounding even more developed countries like China.

Procuring critical medical supplies like personal protective equipment and laboratory material is imperative, considering the number of our nationals that are in China for various reasons.

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Like Ebola, which took the sub-region by storm, the rapid spread of the virus is something that is confounding even the most advanced health systems in the world – with the World Health Organisation declaring the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, due to spread of the illness to other countries.

Even though health systems in our part of the world are considerably weaker than in the more advanced economies, folding our arms in despair would be giving in to the preventable. At least, this was the case when Ebola ravaged parts of West Africa; so, we have decided to strengthen coordination, communication and collaboration to ward-off the danger to our citizens, and that is being proactive.

The WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus; for example, by following good hands and respiratory hygiene.

Over 300 Ghanaian students are currently trapped in the Chinese province where the virus is said to have emanated from, with some persons urging government to evacuate them. However, government through the Minister of Health – who has been in constant consultation and engagement with the World Health Organisation (WHO), regional bodies and the Chinese authorities, say they all do not encourage the evacuation of Ghanaian nationals from China at this time.

Let’s trust officialdom for now, since we believe they have the best interests of the country at heart in this matter.

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