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Feeder roads in Central, Eastern Regions to be rehabilitated

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Feeder roads in Central, Eastern Regions to be rehabilitated

February 03, 2010
Bontrase (C/R), Feb. 3, GNA - The Government on Tuesday cut the sod for the commencement of rehabilitation works on a total of 74.5 kilometres of feeder roads connecting some food-growing areas in the Central and Eastern Regions.

The US$12.5 million project to be executed within 18 months involves the links between Budumburam-Apam (4.14 kms); Amanfrom-Bawjiase (10.75 kms); Ofaakor-Loye-Apra (11.34 kms); Awutu Breku-Bontrase-Obrakyire (18.93 kms); Doboro-Chinto (5.24 kms) and Akoti-Desum-Kwanyako (7.25 kms) all of which are in the Awutu-Senya District of the Central Region.

The rest, which are in the Akwapim South Municipality of the Eastern Region, include Kofi Kwei-Sakyikrom-Adoagyiri (9.52 kms); Maame Dede Junction-Duayeden (3.39 kms) and Maame Dede Junction-Otukrom (3.92 kms).

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States of America, through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Ghana, is funding the construction of the roads which fall under the Transportation Project of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Ghana Programme.

These roads, which will be bituminous-sealed, will link farming settlements in the two local authorities. Their construction is to ensure effective integration of the vital agriculture-related activities as well as open up access to market centres for the produce.

Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways, who together with Mr Daniel Yohannes, Chief Executive of MCC, cut the sod at Bontrase in the Awutu-Senya District, told a gathering of Chiefs and people that the government recognized the important contribution of farmers in the two Assemblies, which were the highest pineapple growers in addition to the production of food crops production.

"These hitherto poor road corridors, when completed, will surely affect and enhance the quality of life and the profile of economic activities that take place along the corridors which will bring joy to our farmers and many people who use these roads everyday to transact business," Mr Gidisu said.

He said the projects, which were under the MCA Ghana programme, were consistent with the government's infrastructural improvement programme, which aimed at reducing disparities between the rural and urban areas.

The Minister said government under the MCA programme was committed to carrying out regular and periodic maintenance on the rural feeder roads to ensure the realization of full returns on investment made in the roads.

"Our national development agenda focuses on the improvement in the quality of life of the people and the government views the accelerated provision of better road infrastructure as a right, which every Ghanaian living in the urban or rural areas of this country must have."

Mr Gidisu said government had stepped up the construction of major feeder roads and related activities to open up the country to accelerate the attainment of the middle income status by 2015 and called on the contractors execute the projects well and within time.

Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, said the project marked the onslaught of the promised "Better Ghana" agenda for the people of both Assemblies.

"Your farms will expand, you will enjoy comfortable travel, frequent breakdown of drivers' vehicles will stop and money will be in your pockets," Ms Tetteh said.

She assured the people that government would do everything possible to make life comfortable for them.

Mr Yohannes said the rehabilitation marked the building of a solid and sustainable foundation for progress, adding it would reduce transportation costs and travel times as well as improve significantly the standard of living of the people.

He commended Ghana for the progress made in the use of the MCA funds which include training of over 50,000 farmers, making start-up capitals available for them as well as building schools and roads to educate the next generation and improve access to markets.

Mr Yohannes, who is in the country to assess the progress of work so far under the MCA fund, said he was impressed by the Ghanaian success story and thanked MiDA for its leadership in implementing the compact and the government for financial contribution.

Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, Central Regional Minister, said the Region was abound with so many resources but was among the poorest in the country and expressed the hope that the project would alleviate the poverty of the people.

The Chiefs and people could not hide their joy as most residents who thronged the venue for the event went into jubilation, thanking President John Evans Atta Mills for addressing their plight.

Nana Agyeman Larbi Otabil III, Chief of Awutu Breku, who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers, appealed to government to provide them with potable water and other amenities.

Among those present at the ceremony were Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Eastern Regional Minister, Professor Samuel Sefa-Dedeh, Board Chairman of MiDA, and Mr Martin Esson-Benjamin, CEO MiDA.

Ghana was selected by the US Government in 2006 to benefit from a five-year 547 million-dollar facility to improve agriculture, feeder roads and schools construction.

The disbursement of the facility began in 2007.

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