1st July, 2019
Parliament of Ghana
Dear Rt. Hon. Speaker,
PETITION ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE OBUASI-DUNKWA-ON-OFFIN-AYANFURI ROAD
I respectfully send my warmest and heartfelt greetings to your respected office as the Speaker of Ghana’s legislative house and also to commend you for the sterling leadership you are providing for the legislature since you assumed office on January 7, 2017.
I am a law abiding Public Interest Citizen residing in Dunkwa-On-Offin, the capital of the Upper Denkyira East Municipality in the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana and also a media enthusiast in the same enclave with Solar FM (91.1MHz).
I bring before your esteemed office a petition on the current state of the Obuasi-Dunkwa-Ayanfuri road network that has served as a vital corridor between the Ashanti, Central and Western Regions.
Sir, it must be said that the patchy nature of the road network, especially from Ampunyase Junction in the Adansi District of Ashanti through Dunkwa-On-Offin to Ayanfuri has made it extremely difficult for commuters and travellers alike to travel on.
Not only is the road beyond bad but also, it is not friendly to the sick and pregnant mothers who use it and also not pleasant to farmers and traders who cart their produce to and from market centres leading to huge economic and social losses. The cost of doing business has also shot up due to the longer time a commuter spends on the road.
Sir, it is instructive to note that the road which also links Dunkwa-On-Offin to Kumasi, where Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has been a major referral centre, has been one of the causes of some needless deaths that have been recorded in the municipality in recent years and is also hindering quality healthcare delivery to people living in and around the Upper Denkyira enclave.
The most disturbing aspect of this whole development is the current state of the steel bridge on the Offin River in Dunkwa. Sir, one can count of about seven (7) big potholes on the bridge that have served as ‘basins’ anytime it rains, a development that is defeating the purpose for which the Offin bridge was constructed in the mid 1920s. In fact, the entire bitumen on the bridge has been wiped off exposing the metal rails and the bare soil. The current state of the steel bridge can be likened to a time bomb waiting to explode and a disaster in waiting. (See attached images). The irony of it all is that there is a road toll just about 100 metres away from the bridge in question where drivers pay tolls on a daily basis.
The current state of the road network has also led to increased cases of reported armed robberies and heightened insecurity travelling on the road and the earlier the road is fixed, the better it would be for commuters and other road users.
At this point, let me state that in August 2018, the overlord of Dunkwa-On-Offin, Okoforobuor Obeng Nuakoh (III) organized a communal labour at Takyikrom, a town along the road,where he hired tipper trucks and loaders in an effort to reshape the undulating surface of the road, an exercise he personally funded from his own resources.
Mr. Speaker, the 24-kilometre Obuasi-Dunkwa stretch had not seen any major facelift since its construction by until its reconstruction was awarded to Messrs. Ussuya Construction Limited in April 2016 under the Cocoa Roads rehabilitation project by the Mahama-led administration and which had seen just 40% of work done as at August 2016, a situation the sector minister then, Hon. Alhaji Inusah Fuseini lamented over during an inspection tour.
Additionally, the 8km Dunkwa-Ayanfuri stretch which was also awarded to Facol Roads in January 2016 under the same scheme had also seen just 10% of works done as at August 2016 and the rest has been history up to date.
Assurances and promises have been made since the NPP Administration took over but these assurances have proved to be a mirage over the course of time.
A case in point is that it would be recalled that at a courtesy call paid to the Chiefs of the Denkyira Traditional Council during the launch of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme by the president, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, in Dunkwa-On-Offin, the chiefs appealed to the president to see to the expedition of action on the road to which the president assured that it would be fixed. As refreshing as the president’s assurance sounded, the masses that ply the route under consideration are yet to realise action on it and that commuters and drivers are left at the mercy of God anytime there is a heavy downpour.
Additionally, the Denkyira Adontenhene, Nana Agyei Nkyere (II), on behalf of the Chiefs of the Denkyira Traditional Council and the people of the Denkyira enclave, made another appeal to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Asomah-Cheremeh on Wednesday, May 22,when he had led a delegation, which included representatives of the agencies under the Ministry, to pay a courtesy call on the Denkyira Traditional Council during the launch of the One Million oil palm seedlings for distribution to beneficiaries under the Alternative Livelihood Support Programme, also an initiative of the government.
In responding to the appeal made by the Denkyira Adontenhene, Nana Agyei (II), the Minister also assured the Chiefs as follows:
“We admit that your land is a land of gold and so you deserve better.
I want to assure you that the government will act swiftly to fix your roads to make life better for you”.
Mr. Speaker, since this assurance was made, the plight of the masses who use this road network has been further exacerbated by the increasing death traps on the road. In fact, there has not been a single regarding or reshaping exercise on the decrepit stretch under review to send an indication that the problem is receiving attention from the powers that be.
It must be emphasised that it is disturbing and worrying to see a road network that leads to the strongholds of the government, i.e., Upper Denkyira East and West constituencies, in such a ramshackle state and more especially as the construction of the road in question was a major campaign tool for the New Patriotic Party then in opposition.
Mr. Speaker, calls for the reconstruction of this rickety trunk road by chiefs of the area and stories on other web portals on the state of the road network have got several allusions, reference of which can be made as follows:
Dunkwa Chief Wants Gov’t To Fix Obuasi-Dunkwa-Ayanfuri Road
Photos: Deplorable Dunkwa-Obuasi road disrupts travel
The chief of Dunkwa laments over poor nature of Obuasi-Dunkwa road.
Tension in Dunkwa-On-Offin
It is in the light of this that I have written and tabled this petition before your good offices to court your able support and that of the entire august house to a matter of Parliamentary procedure invite the sector minister before the house to update us all on any plans for this particular road network, if any, and when construction works would begin on the aforementioned road network that records hundreds of vehicles commuting on it on a daily basis.
I am counting on your expeditious action in this regard.
Emmanuel Baah – Aboagye
(Public Interest Citizen/Media Enthusiast)