Fix our road – Ajumako Afranse residents to government

Social Road Appeal
Social Road Appeal

Residents of Ajumako Afranse, a farming community in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District of the Central Region, have appealed to government to fix the main road in the town to help raise their standard of living.

The two-kilometre road links Ajumako Afranse to the main Ajumako – Mankessim and Ajumako – Swedru road at Ajumako Eshiem.

The bumpy road is riddled with deep gullies and potholes and is impassable in the rainy season, consequently, car breakdowns are commonplace on that stretch.

The community produces mainly cocoa and staples such as plantain, cassava, maize, and assorted vegetables all in commercial quantities, contributing immensely to the national food basket.

However, the people have been plunged into perpetual poverty by the terribly poor state of the road which had been the bane of economic activities in the community for decades.

Only a few traders visit the community to do business and they exploit the farmers by offering ridiculously low prices for their produce, citing the deteriorated state of the road and the cost of transport.

It is almost a luxury to see more than five cars in the community in one day, with drivers charging throat-cutting fares in spite of its economic potential.

Education is also suffering from the situation with dire impact on enrolment especially at the Kofi Annan Vocational Training Institute, a technical educational facility in the community.

On many occasions, patients and women in labour have had to be carried on shoulders and in tricycles as a result of the road’s condition as the community lacked a health facility.

With shovels, pickaxes and other implements, the people, once in a while, organise communal labour to shape the road from the town to the main junction.

Ahead of the general elections some five years ago, the road was levelled and the drains were partially constructed but the project was abandoned after the elections.
This has left the road in a worse state.

Nana Benyin, the Abusuapanyin of the town, a sexagenarian, observed that the road had never been tarred.
He said exorbitant prices charged by drivers, meagre amounts offered for their produce and the attendant post-harvest losses due to the road had left them in a loop of poverty.

The Abusuapanyin said farmers were forced to carry their wares on their heads from the community to the main junction while schoolchildren trekked long distances to attend school.

“Every car that comes here breaks down and so they do not want to come here anymore,” he said.
He added that “when parents from other parts of the country bring their children who get admission to the vocational school, they are compelled to take them back because of the bad condition of our road.”

Nana Benyin, therefore appealed to the government, the Member of Parliament (MP) and the District Chief Executive (DCE) to treat their request as urgent and fix the road immediately.

Mr John Asiedu, a 63-year-old farmer, intimated that as a major cocoa-producing community, the least of their concerns should be a bad road.

“We are living miserably as farmers. We suffer for the government because the cocoa price they are offering us is not what we deserve for our labour but we have no option than to take it. And so, the least they can do for us is to fix our road,” he said.

He noted that politicians appeared with lofty promises during elections and disappeared immediately after that, cautioning that they would chase them away in 2024 if they did not fix the road.

Araba Cynthia, a trader, narrated how she almost lost her life a few weeks back due to the situation.
She said she got sick and was carried in a tricycle but midway to the hospital, the tricycle broke down and was carried on the back.

“We do not have a hospital here and so the state of our road is a real threat to our lives,” she said.
She further lamented how they were constantly cheated by buyers who used the road as alibi.

“They buy a bunch of plantain for GHS3 and GHS4 because the road is bad and if you do not give it to them, it will go waste. Government must turn to us as soon as possible,” she said,

For his part, Mr Kwesi Frimpong, the Unit Committee Chair, indicated that he had raised concerns about the road many times at the Assembly but had received no positive feedback.

“Now, we have nowhere else to take it. We have also told our MP and he said they can only fix it if the National Democratic Congress returns to power,” he indicated.

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