Residents of the Talensi District are crying desperately on government to speed up work on the Winkogo-Tongo Road.
The contract was awarded in June 2012 at the cost of seventeen million Ghana cedis to answer a nagging need for a good road and work is expected to be completed in June 2014. But with barely three months to the deadline, construction is still at a gravelling stage today. And work appears to have been suspended for reasons yet to be explained to the media and the masses.
Residents have been telling newsmen the crashes are recorded every now and then on that 7.5 kilometre stretch of road. This, according to them, is because speeding vehicles often leave thick-looking clouds of dust trailing behind like a storm and it is difficult for users to see one another through those clouds.
“You only see these politicians showing seriousness about the road in an election year,” one resident, a tailor, said. “After the election, you see that everybody will go their own way, leaving the road like that in this bad weather.”
A teacher trainee from the district told this paper: “The road is full of stones. The stones are spoiling our motors. You can even be walking, a car will pass over a stone and the stone will come and hit your head. All these have effects on us, especially the dust.”
“My brother, it is worse on market days,” said a headmaster. “Those who use motors and bicycles suffer a lot. The whole place is dusty. You contract catarrh and find it difficult to teach in the classroom. How about pregnant women and those with asthma using this road?”
A pupil added his frustration, saying: “I’m pleading with the President to come and construct our road. When our teachers are coming [to school], they struggle on their way. Our school uniform is white when we leave home, but it is already brown―like chocolate― by the time we arrive at the school because of the road.”
Efforts made by Savannahnews to reach the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Talensi, Edward Awunnore, on this matter took a long time to yield results. He did not answer this correspondent’s calls, neither did he reply after he was sent a text message. He spoke only after the outgoing Upper East Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, had received a report that he was not responding to this paper’s calls.
“You had earlier on informed my boss (the Regional Minister) about the nature of this road,” he said. “The contractor said he is the same person working on the Winkogo-Tongo Road, Bolga-Bongo Road and the Navrongo Township Road. He said his materials are not ready.”
He said he had suggested to the Highways Engineer in the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga, the same day of the news interview to install temporary speed ramps on the road to reduce the dust being generated until the project was completed.
By Edward Adeti