Agotime Afegame community rises against bad road and abandoned water project

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Road

The border community of Afegame, has demonstrated against bad roads, and the unavailability of potable water.

Members of the farming community of over 3000 people, said to be the oldest of the Agotime settlements, took the day off to lead a red-clothed protest through the town, crying woe over the strain of the nature of the road on their livelihoods.

Some of the townsfolk hoisted placards reading, “Beh to Afegame is an international road”, and “Agotime Afegame can add to the tourism revenue of Ghana,” among others.

Matsetse Ahadzi, stool father of the Nene Mahumansuro XVI, led the media to various projects abandoned in the community.

Construction materials for the stalled road projects lay in the thickets, while completed accommodation facilities for border officials had been taken over by squatters and turned into barns for rice farms in the area.

Traces of abandoned water projects were also seen all over the community.

James Afanu, a member of the Afegame Youth Forum, read a statement by Nene Mahumansuro, which had been copied to immediate stakeholders including the Regional Minister, and the Member of Parliament for the area.

The Paramount Chief described the situation as an “unfair distribution of social amenities”.

“As citizens of the Republic of Ghana and taxpayers of our teaming working youth across the length and breadth of Ghana, we deserve a fair distribution of these social amenities to enhance the living conditions of our people in the town.”

The Chief noted that a nine and half kilometre road from BE to Agotime-Afegame was constructed between 1972 and 1973, adding that 48 years down the line, the only rehabilitation seen had been occasional reshaping to the extent that, the road had deteriorated to the point of rendering it unmotorable especially when it rained.

“The once widely constructed road has become just a narrow single lane as a result of the reshaping over the years and as expected, one vehicle has to park to make way for the on–coming vehicle to avoid head-on collision.”

Nene Mahumansro said most of the culverts on the road had become so weak with the majority broken, making the passage of such spots extremely difficult.

He said the negative impact of the bad nature of the road were numerous and added that drivers of commercial vehicles were reluctant to ply the road to convey passengers to and from the town for the fear of damage to their vehicles.

“This has virtually killed all economic activities in the town thereby making sustainable living very difficult for the people in the community.”

The Chief said the youth of the town had virtually migrated to other cities and towns due to lack of economic activities to earn income resulting in the village becoming a ghost town until funerals.

“Citizens of the town currently find it very difficult to return home to participate in their enviable Easter Celebrations to raise funds for development projects in the town due to the bad nature of the road leading to the town.”

He said the bad nature of the road was also starving the Government of Ghana of revenue because importers who were using the Afegame Border Point to bring goods into the country and pay import duties to enhance the Government’s revenue drive had resorted to using unapproved entry points.

Nene Mahumansro noted that efforts to get stakeholders and appropriate authorities to fix the road had “so far failed to yield any positive result.”

He was of the conviction that the authorities including the Regional Minister was aware of the state of their road, adding that, “our people are now frustrated and beginning to wonder whether someone is considering the Afegame people as second-class citizens who do not deserve their fair share of the national cake and of a good road as a social amenity”.

“We wish to inform that tension is mounting among the youth and people of Afegame in general to stage a massive demonstration at the District Assembly to draw the attention of the authorities to fix the road as soon as possible”.

On the water project, the Chief noted that they had unfortunately depended on the River Todze as their only source of water since their forefathers came to settle in the town several years ago.

“Our people have contracted and suffered from various water borne diseases as a result of the usage of this untreated water over the years.”

“Finally help came very close when a contract was awarded for provision of portable drinking water for the town.

This was hailed with excitement by the people who were waiting for the completion of the project to witness the running of portable water through their taps.”

He said the contractor all of sudden vanished from the site and left the said project uncompleted.

“Help is no more coming from anywhere despite the efforts by our chief and his people to have this all-important project completed to end the perennial suffering of our people.

“Once again, the people are asking the question “Where did we go wrong and as citizens of the Republic of Ghana don’t we deserve our share of the national cake?”

Nene Mahumansro said the chief and people of Agotime Afegame would want to know the new contractor for the road project granted that the contract with the old contractor had been terminated.

“What the scope of work to be carried out on the road is by the new contractor that as a matter of urgency funds should be allocated for the reconstruction of the entire stretch of the road to make it motorable all year round.”

He said they also wanted to know if the contractor for the water project would return to the project site to complete the project to enable people to enjoy portable drinking water as soon as possible.

The Chief said they hoped their petition would be given urgent attention within a month from the date of the petition after which the people of Agotime Afegame would advise themselves on the next line of action.

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