Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has performed a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a 38-kilometre Benchema Junction-Adjoafua road in the heartland of cocoa and timber rich Western North Region.
The road project would be funded by the Ghana Cocoa Board under the Cocoa Roads project.
The project was first awarded on contract in 2011 by President Atta Mills and President John Mahama in 2014, but work could not begin until it was terminated in 2017 upon advice by the Cocoa Roads Audit Committee.
At the sod-cutting ceremony at Elluokrom on Friday, Vice President Bawumia stated, "One thing is for sure. This time, this project will be done.
“It will definitely be completed and the good people of Western North Region and of this area in particular, can have some relief. This is not a Green Book road but you are seeing it with your naked eyes”.
The Benchema Junction-Adjoafua road is strategically important because it serves as the main conduit in the transportation of crops like cocoa and timber produced in the region. It is also the major road linking Ghana to Ivory Coast at Osei Kojokrom.
The poor condition of the road is hampering economic activities, especially during the rainy season as the gravel surface suffers deterioration from the heavy axle trucks.
The contractor is expected to complete the project within 28 months and would do upgrading from an unpaved road to a bituminous surface, widening of the carriageway, construction of 22 new culverts, and reconstruction of the 50m Bridge over River Bia.
Upon completion, the road would serve some communities including Debiso, New Debiso, Adjoafua, Nyamebekyere, Asuontaa, Elluokrom, Domnibo, Asempaneye, Nsinsem, Sayerano, Kantankubo, Benchema, Nkwanta, and Kojina.
Vice President Bawumia reaffirmed government's commitment to holistically improve the socio-economic conditions of all aspects of Ghanaian life, especially in the roads sector.
Other ongoing road projects in the region include Sefwi Juaboso (14.43km), Sefwi Wiawso (Lot 1 - 5.0km, Lot 2 - 8.1km), construction of Sefwi Wiawso – Akotombro (Km15 – 56), and rehabilitation of Buako – Asankore (km 0 -15).
“This is the vision we wish to realize for our people and nation, in which the road network serves as the live wire and the circulatory system, transporting the vital produce needed by all other sectors to all other parts of the country.”
Commenting on agriculture, Vice President Bawumia assured the chiefs and people of the area, would continue to remain at the heart of government policy, with well-crafted policies and programmes.
Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, expressed delight that construction works had finally seen the light of day, noting that about 50 per cent of the region's cocoa was transported on that stretch.
He said that when completed, it would facilitate the transportation of other farm inputs like fertilizers and other essential materials for successful farming.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs and people of the area, Katakyie Kwasi Bumangama II, Omanhene of Sefwi Wiawso, expressed his appreciation to the Government for hearing their age-long cry for help, saying, “I believe this time our roads will be fixed.”