Year of Roads & COVID-19: ‘Deplorable Nkroful road will see asphalt before July’ – Kwasi Bonzoh assures

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ellembelle District in the Western Region, Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh says in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Esiama-Nkroful-Anwia deplorable road will be asphalted before July this year.

It will be recalled President Akufo-Addo announced his intention to embark on massive road construction project in 2020 dubbed “the year of roads”.

This announcement was made by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, when he presented the 2020 Budget statement and Economic policy to Parliament on before of President Akufo-Addo.

Some Ghanaians had expressed much hue and cry about the poor nature of roads prior to the announcement by the Finance Minister when he presented the 2020 budget statement to Parliament.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, most Ghanaians have become skeptical whether government will be able to fulfill her pledge to devote 2020 to massive road construction and asphalt overlays.

However, Modernghana Western Regional Contributor, Daniel Kaku has started monitoring some of the major road rehabilitations which commenced in the Region prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Daniel Kaku commenced his tour to Ellembelle District of the Western Region to see some deplorable roads in the area as to whether government is constructing those roads or not.

When the Daniel Kaku got to Esiama-Nkoful-Teleku Bokazo-Anwia-Aiyinasi road which is 26.6km, he saw a massive work on the stretch.

This road, had been in a very deplorable state so many years and had affected commercial drivers, passengers, tourists and farmers.

It is also the road network that link to the hometown of the first President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

It had been grouped into two phases, with phase one beginning from Esiama to Anwia which is 6.5km and it is expected to be an asphalt.

The phase two had also commenced, starting from Anwia to Aiyinasi.

Speaking to Modernghana Western Regional Correspondent, the District Chief Executive (DCE) Kwasi Bonzoh who later saw our Correspondent on the road expressed happiness to see him (our Correspondent) on it to have a first hand information.

When Daniel Kaku asked why in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic still work was ongoing, the DCE said the Coronavirus pandemic could not stop them from constructing and completing roads in the District.

“…but that doesn’t mean that other developmental projects have come to a standstill. Government has the plan, off course, COVID-19 throws some few plans out of gear but what I have seen and know about Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, he is a very focused oetsont, in the amid and wake of COVID-19, he kept focused to deliver”.

He emphasized that, “2020 as we all has been declared a “Year of Roads” and Ellembelle had our first share. Since December last year when massive works started on this road there has never been a day that construction work has not taken place as we speak”.

He added that, “This is the Esiama-Nkroful-Teleku Bokazo-Anwia road, 6.5km which is being asphalted with two major bridges, work is going on non-stop”.

He, therefore reminded that, “Before COVID-19, the contractor has given a work plan that by the end of June 2020, he wants us to see asphalt on the road and he committed himself into it”.

Mr. Kwasi Bonzoh reiterated that by the end of June 2020, the users of the deplorable Nkroful road would see an asphalt on it and disclosed that the Resident Engineer had assured him it would come to a reality.

“My last meeting with the Contractor and the Resident Engineer, Mr. Daniel Boateng, he assured us that we are on schedule that by the end of June, this road will see asphalt and then it will be left with the bridges to be constructed because the bridges normally take time because of the concrete works but still we are on course”, he stressed.

Anwia-Aiyinasi (20km) underway

Talking about the phase two of the construction, the DCE said it was ongoing without any setback.

“In addition to this (Esiama-Nkroful-Teleku Bokazo), the second phase which is from Teleku Bokazo all the way to Aiyinasi is 20km, also first class surfacing being done aggressively, there has never been a stop work on it”.

“We also have another Teleku-Bokazo to Anibil Junction, another 30.2km, work is also ongoing, work is also ongoing, all these roads, none of them has seen any stop work since COVID-19 hits our shores so it not entirely true that COVID-19 has forced the government to take his eye of the roads”, he added.

He said government was committed of fixing the bad roads in the country and according to him, Ellembelle District is benefiting and currently 198km of roads are being executed by various government agencies namely Ghana Highway Authority, Ghana Gas Company, Feeder Roads Department, COCOBOD and GNPC.

“So while we are fighting COVID-19 we are constructing our roads and that is what we want to assure Ghanaians”, he stated.

Benefits of the road construction

The DCE said, “There is going to be a tremendous benefits. This road (Esiama to Teleku-Bokazo) like you just rightly said its a historic road, it is a road that link to the hometown of the first President of the Republic of Ghana but this road has been unfortunately been neglected for the two decades”.

He continued, “It has taken Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and NPP government to construct 6.5 asphalt to Kwame Nkrumah’s hometown, it means a lot to us, looking at the antecedent to the UP tradition and CPP tradition, Pre-independence Day and Post-Independence era so for anybody to told us that it will take an Akufo-Addo presidency to fix this road like some of you would have doubted it. Right from 2012 then candidate Akufo-Addo promised to fix this deplorable nature of road and has done it. We are grateful to President Akufo-Addo for honouring his promise by fixing this road for us”.

“In terms of economic activities, this road passes through all the major food producing Communities of our District, from Esiama to Nkroful, Teleku-Bokazo, Anwia, Bomoakpole, Nvenlesolo, Asasetre, Nvuma, Tandan, Awiebo, Basake, Aiyinasi and Menzezor , this is a good basket of our District”.

“Now the economic impact is that, once the road is fixed, farmers will able to bring their food stuff into the markets freely. Transportation will not be a problem, post-harvest losses will be curtailed. Currently because of this road construction, government is constructing ultra-modern market at Esiama to serve this entire Community so that farmers who are supposed to bring their produce to the market at Esiama which is an intercession for all the towns in his District”, he stated.

“So we have thought deeply about it and realized that fixing this road will boost our economy so much”, he added.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) Kwasi Bonzoh, therefore seized the opportunity to disclose that government was constructing Asasetre to Akropong road which is 21km.

He said the road was under the Cocoa Road Projects.

“We are fixing Asasetre to Akropong, 21km, the contractor started the construction three weeks ago and currently work is progressing and he has given three months to complete the first phase of the work”, he said.

However, our Western Regional Contributor Daniel Kaku has pledged to follow up on the Asasetre to Akropong road the DCE had mentioned to ascertain the reality on the ground.

He also promised to monitor the Esiama-Nkroful-Anwia asphalt road construction of which the DCE had pledged to complete it by the end of June, 2020.

Source: Daniel Kaku

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