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06.05.2007 General News

Pressure group pushes for new region for VR

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The Coalition for Peace and Development in Buem, (COPADIB), a pressure group at the weekend urged government to create a new region for the northern part of the Volta region, to enhance the development of the area.

Mr Isaka Buraima, President of the group, who made the call at Jasikan said northern Volta, had suffered neglect since independence, and therefore urged the government to take positive steps to ensure that the area received its fair share of development.

He was speaking at a mini congress, organised by the COPADIB, on the theme:" Development through Education," for delegates from the various towns of the Buem Traditional Area, at Jasikan in the Volta region.

Mr Buraima noted that during the construction of the Akosombo Dam, many important commercial and historical towns in northern Volta like Otiso, Akroso, and old Kete-Krachi in the area were destroyed.

He said: "No compensation could atone for the destruction of such cultural heritage and economic loss. However, the affected areas did not have any form of electricity or meaningful development to sustain traditional commerce."

Mr Buraima said between 1980-1985 when the National Electricity Grid was being extended to the region, with a German grant, the northern half of the region, which was baldly affected by the construction of the Dam, was left out.

"Even though it would require a political will by the President under the 1992 Constitution to create a new region, we appeal to Ghanaians not to resort to political dialectics over the matter," he appealed.

Mr Buraima said the people of northern Volta were better informed about their problems than any other people and should be given the chance to determine their destiny.

He said creating a region for the northern part of the Volta region with a clear development programme and budget would facilitate the equitable distribution of the national cake, the active participation of the people in the economic life of Ghana, accelerate and sustain the development of the area.

Mr Buraima said the request for the creation of a region to be known as Oti Region, started in the 1970's and since then there had been a number of follow-ups with the latest petition in 2006.
He said: "The fact of the matter is that in the quest for the creation of a new region, our chiefs and people proposed that it should cover the entire area formerly known as the Buem-Krachi District; under colonial rule, with Jasikan as the capital."

Mr Buraima said petitioners for the new region also came from Lolobi, Likpe and Akpafu, which were part of the defunct Jasikan Local Council.

He said the petitioners observed that many development projects in the Volta region began from the south and ended at Hohoe, while road networks in the northern part of the region was nothing to write home about.

He said they also complained that despite the fact that northern Volta possessed the best agricultural lands in the region, a number of agricultural institutions and projects had been sited outside the area.

Mr Buraima said campaigners for the new region noted that even though the area was once the third highest producer of cocoa in the country, after Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions, the industry had collapsed due to neglect.

He cited the Volta Regional Cocoa Office at Jasikan, which used to serve cocoa growing areas in the Volta region.

Mr Buriama said the office, which was relocated at Hohoe was now remote from major cocoa growing areas such as Ampeyo, Ahamansu, Poase Cement, Dodi Papase, Pampawe.

Source: GNA

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