Meat sellers in Koforidua in the New Juaben South Municipality of Eastern Region have called on city authorities to facilitate the completion of the municipal slaughterhouse which has been abandoned for sometime.
An abattoir and meat selling unit with the capacity of about 1000 was started in September 2020, but appeared to have been neglected for months by city authorities.
Butchers who spoke with Ghana News Agency in Koforidua believe the project which is currently at the lintel level was abandoned by the contractor as there was no activity going on for the past five months.
Chief butcher of Koforidua Zongo, Mr Bayana Mohammed said work on the meat factory has been halted for the past five to six months without any explanation to key stakeholders despite several complaints lodged with relevant authorities.
“If the factory is completed, it will have enough capacity to create employment opportunities for the youth as well as generate income and foreign exchange,” he said.
He said the initiative was to also process and produce wholesome meat in large quantities to meet growing market demand in Ghana and abroad.
Though efforts were made to improve the only abattoir in the municipality, he said the condition was still not encouraging and called for immediate action to speed up the completion of the project.
Mr Isaac Apaw Gyasi, New Juaben South Municipal Chief Executive told GNA that the meat factory project was handled by the Middle Belt Authority which started last year to do away with untidiness and overcrowding at the present slaughterhouse as well as remove unacceptable practices in meat processing and production inimical to consumer health.
He said the contractor handling the project has put in claims and raised certificates for payment to be made on the level at where the building had reached.
Mr Gyasi gave the assurance that the project would be completed in no time to boost economic activities, adding, “The capacity of Koforidua slaughter house is not enough to accommodate more butchers in the municipality that is why the meat factory is being built.”
Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, a butcher dealing in cow, goat and sheep meant said their “business” has gone down drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Apart from the pandemic, he added that meat sold at the cold stores was having a stiff competition with their business, which was contributing to sluggish sales and patronage.
Butcher Sadick Abdul said cows had become expensive in recent times and that they were not able to buy them in large quantity as they used to buy some months back.
“At first, I was able to buy more than one cow, but now due to the high price I can afford one which I don’t even get enough profit from it,” he added.