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17.03.2006 General News

Public attack Anane for claiming 70% of roads are in good condition

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Roads Transport Minister, Dr. Richard Anane's suggestion that 70 percent of roads in the country are in good conditions has sparked off nationwide reaction.

Answering questions in parliament on Tuesday, Dr. Anane said there had been a vast improvement over the situation under NDC administration, which only had 44 percent of roads in good shape.

He attributed the improved road network to what he described as huge investments by the government.

Following the minister's comment the state of the country's roads has been the subject of discussion.

Here are JOY News sampled opinions of some motorists in Accra.

“We saw that they were constructing some new roads and they have left them untarred so it's become as if they are not doing anything. There are potholes on the roads.”

“It is the same road that we were using five years ago. We want to see more improvements within the capital.”

“At first our Takoradi roads were not good but now it is fine but within Accra, from Awoshie to Ablekuma, that road is not good.”

“There is no major improvement, especially in the industrial area, its bumpy.”

In the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi, some commercial drivers have expressed reservations about the Minster's claims.

Most drivers who ply rural routes say conditions don't march up to the reality.

According to JOY News correspondent the road from Kokofu Oyoko in the Amansie East district is just 30 miles and drivers say it takes them averagely 2 hours to cover the journey.

The Kumasi to Duaso in the Bosomtwe Atwima Kwahoma district is 12 miles and the drivers say it takes them an average of 3 hours to do a return journey.

The drivers also say they have contended with the situation for the past 10-15 years and prefer the harmattan to the rainy seasons where the roads are rendered almost impassable.

A monthly pothole filling exercise is conducted by the drivers on the roads at their own expense.

In the Volta Region the focus has been on feeder roads.

A news team of JOY FM's affiliate station in the Volta region, Radio Jubilee sampled views from the public especially in reaction to the recent announcement by the road transport minister Dr. Richard Anane.

“Our minister is becoming proud of feeder roads, I don't really know what he is talking about. He should organize himself.”

“ I agree with him because looking at the times where there has not been some improvement, feeder roads were meant to link the township to the rural centres. Formerly those roads were not there. Now if there is improvement such that you could just move foodstuffs from the hinterlands to the main towns to the cities for sale, it think it is a good achievement.”

“I think he has not travelled much within the region particularly the Volta region. Last month I travelled to the middle belt of the Volta region and the roads are in a deplorable state particularly from Hohoe to Fodome and Kadjebi areas.”

In Cape Coast a news team from Radio Valco, Joy FM's affiliate station, went to town to find out reactions in city of Cape Coast.

“ What is he talking about? The one from Accra to Cape Coast or from Kumasi to Accra. I mean this is not fair. He is not being fair to us. He should put his acts together and come out with the reality on the ground.”

“Considering the road network especially in Cape Coast are too narrow for safe driving. Yes some roads have been rehabilitated but we still have a lot that has not been constructed. Those that they have not done, I think to be fair to us they should not tell us that they have done it.”

Up north the minister's comment has been also met with mixed reactions as well and JOY FM's correspondent in Tamale reports that drivers, transport owners and farmers differ on whether or not there are good roads now than before.

Some drivers describe the minister's assertion as false and far from the truth as others also say there have been massive improvement in the road network as compared to the previous time.

The drivers said the Tolon, Damongo and Tampion roads are in bad shape.

Some rural farmers who spoke to JOY News complained of lack of good roads from their farms to the market centres.

The farmers say the inability to chart their farm produce to the city centres cause their foodstuffs to go waste.