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12.04.2005 Regional News

Juapong Chief Issues ‘SOS’

By JOY ONLINE
The chiefs and people of Juapong have warned that criminal activity and rural urban drift could become the bane of the town, if government allows the Juapong Textile Company to collapse.
The paramount chief of the Dorfor Traditional Area, Togbega Ribitim Komlaga, told Joy News that the factory was strategically placed to generate business activity for people in the Volta and Eastern regions.
The Juapong Textile Company, JTL, impacts all aspects of life in the area, from the provision of direct and indirect jobs, both directly and indirectly, through to infrastructure development.
The company has also provided basic facilities including a school and water system, which serves the town and its environs.
By-products from the factory are used in making pillows, a major source of income for women in the area.
A common feature on the main road leading to the town is the beautiful display of assorted pillows.
It is also common to see many people in shirts and dresses made of wax prints.
One woman who worked at the factory but has since 1995 being selling pillows spoke to Joy News:
“There is no work, it is only this cotton that we gather to make pillows to cater for our dependants so closing the factory will be a problem for us.,” she said.
Another woman also complained that business was not as buoyant as it used to be. Even worse her son was among a group of workers who had just been laid off from JTL.
“ The workers are those who buy our things, there is no market, we are suffering, now my son has come to join me and we are doing the same job, it is not fair.” she said.
For the young men who have being laid off ahead of the official closure in June, the only option now is to move to Accra to look for odd jobs.
“We are hanging around, if we hear of a job somewhere we rush to the place to see if we can get a job. I have two children and how to cater for them now is a problem for me, I want to go to Accra and find a job in Masonry.” One man said.


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