The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Emmanuel Victor Smith has ordered the immediate reconstruction of the broken culvert at Agormanya which led to the diversion of traffic on the main Kpong-Odumase roads since last week, nearly sparking protest in the area.
The Minister said this when he paid a visit to the area to assess at first hand the state of the culvert and its effect on business and lives of the people in the area.
Ambassador Smith, who was accompanied by his Deputy, (who doubles as the NDC Parliamentary candidate for the constituency), Hon. Okletey Terlarbi; the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Isaac Agbo Tetteh; Engineers from the Military and officials from the Ghana Highway Authority said the reconstruction would be done within six weeks under what he described as “Certificate of Urgency” during which the main bypasses in the areas including the Fire Stone-Ablotsi-Agormanor as well as the Agormanya-Agbom roads would all be upgraded to accommodate the traffic.
He also indicated that a foot bridge would be constructed over the River Odaw to make the market readily accessible for pedestrians during the construction period. Work is expected to start on Monday.
The Konor of the Manya Krobbo Traditional Area, Nene Sakite II said in an interview that “the reconstruction of the culvert notwithstanding, I am still unhappy about the general state of the roads, and I know my people have serious concerns, particularly the youth because of the attendant road accidents, loss of lives and other related inconveniences” adding “it is high time something was done”.
Mr. Philip Tetteh Padi, Commissioner of Kloma Gbi (the youth group in the area) said, “the collapse of the culvert and the negative ripples we are experiencing now could have been prevented if the authorities had acted proactively because it started giving signs of imminent collapse long ago; we are however happy the Minister has acted and we expect him and the other authorities to attach same importance to the entire road network area before the community rises up”.
The Secretary of the Odumase branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Mr. Opata Kpabitey said, “In the next couple of weeks, we would start using the Somanya-Nkurakan road to Asesewa instead of the pothole-ridden Odumase-Aseswa road which is taking a toll on our vehicles; when we do it would force an upward adjustment of fares to the inconvenience of passengers. He was however tight-lipped on the other strategies they are adopting to press home their demand.
He has therefore appealed to the Minister and the other relevant authorities to repair the road to save the looming crisis.
It would be recalled that youth around Agormanya spontaneously mounted road block last week and diverted traffic through the exterior parts of the town when a culvert on the main Odumase-Kpong road (around the Agormanya Filling station) caved in after a heavy down pour and diverted traffic in a manner that nearly sparked off a communal revolt in the Municipality.