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22.04.2005 NPP News

Sefwi Indigenes Disillusioned With NPP Assurances

By Daily Guide

Sefwi-Wiawso (Daily Guide) -- CUTTING THE sod by President John Agyekum Kufuor for the commencement of the reconstruction of the Sefwi Boako–Bekyima road, was more of political gimmick than a reality.

The President and his New Patriotic Party Administration only came to solicit the votes of the Sefwi people, just before the December 2004 elections, but have no intentions of reconstructing that stretch of road.

“We are tired of such political talk and deceit from the government”.

These were the sentiments expressed by an overwhelming majority of chiefs and people from Essam, Juaboso, Bibiani and Wiawso in the four districts of Sefwi, at separate gatherings at the People's Assembly, in the Western Region.

According to the people, the road network in the Sefwi area was their number one priority, and that, despite other development projects in the area, if the government does not ensure that was accomplished, nothing in the area would move properly.

The people asserted that, as a result of the deplorable state of roads in the area, most people cannot cart tonnes of cocoa to the buying centres, and lots of their farm produce also go bad, while travelling becomes cumbersome and uncomfortable.

The people made it clear that it was extremely ridiculous and disturbing that President Kufuor visited Sefwi Boako, a few days to the 2004 elections, where equipment and machinery were visibly sent, with the contractors and Ghana Highway Authority officials only to move away the earth-moving equipment, just after the elections.

“Is this not a political gimmick, and pure deceit by the government regarding our roads?” A chief at the Sefwi-Essam People's Assembly at Essam, remarked, amid a long applause.

Responding, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, stated the government was in no way playing any tricks on the people, and that the contractor, Messrs. Interbeton Limited, was in the mobilisation stage, and Sefwi indigenes would very soon witness actual reconstruction work in the area.

He also mentioned that funding for road projects was highly expensive, so government usually solicits funding from external sources, accompanied by various agreements and consultancy issues.

Hon Aidoo also pointed out that since the Western Region has a very high rainfall pattern, road contractors need to braze up themselves very well to do good jobs, adding, “The Boako – Benkyima road is a must, and very soon, you will bear witness to whatever we have promised”.

He then explained, comprehensively, to the people the necessity of increasing the price of fuel by the government.

Personnel from the Environmental Health Division of the Ghana Health Service at Sefwi Wiawso, appealed to the government for means of transportation to enhance their work, in that, all over the country, environmental health personnel do not have vehicles.

He added that if the nation expects a drastic reduction in diseases, particularly water-borne and other environmentally-related diseases, then the Division must not be neglected by the government, in terms of logistics.

“It is clear that the Health Insurance Scheme would succeed, and for it to be more acceptable, then personnel of the Environmental Health Division of the Ministry Health must be provided with vehicles in the districts and regions, to work. “He concluded.

Hon Samuel Owusu-Agyei, deputy Minister of Health, and Hon Anna Nyamekye, deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, who were in the regional minister's entourage, expressed sympathy with people in the Sefwi and Aowin-Suaman about the deplorable state of roads in these areas.

They asked the people to rally behind the Western Regional Minster and other Members of Parliament, to put in a good word for them in Parliament, when it comes to deliberating on roads.

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