Following the closure of the Buipe and Yapei bridges in the Northern Region, barely a week now, vehicles and travellers plying far and near, to and from the southern and Northern parts of the country and beyond are stranded in Yeji.
Yeji in the Pru District of the Brong Ahafo Region is the only gateway through the Volta into the Northern, upper East Regions as well as some neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
From the only Region left out of the hook is the upper west Region which has its route joining southern Ghana through Bolo-Bamboi- Wenchi – Techiman.
The current situation is that both human and vehicles are in long queuing, waiting to be transported across the lake to the Northern Region.
All types of Vehicles ranging from saloon cars, Buses/Coaches to long articulated and Fuel/Gas Tankers carrying various goods and food stuffs, numbering over hundred recorded queue daily, waiting to be booked and transported to the over-banks of the Volta lake from Yeji.
A week ago, Buipei and Yapei bridges which are the main link between the northern and southern parts of Ghana, underwent civil repairs, compelling travellers to use other routes. The situation is said to be inconveniencing most travellers. Those at Yeji were stranded since Saturday to now when works began on the two bridges. Most of the heavy-duty vehicles are loaded with perishable goods, which are generating more worries for the drivers, especially if they don’t get to their destinations in time. Small vehicles are, however, ferried across the Volta Lake but the unavailability of bigger ferries at Yeji station is worsening conditions for the trucks.
The available routes left as options are the western and eastern corridors through Kumasi, the Yeji and Bimbilla routes on the other section on the eastern corridor; which are inconvenient due to the bad nature of the roads.
In an interview with the Ferry Manager at Yeji Mr. Bright Josiah, he said they were not properly informed when Buipe and Yapei bridges were to be closed to vehicle passage. As such, no proper alterative measures were made, hence putting pressure on the operations of the Ferry.
He said as at now more cars/vehicles were coming there. Because of the pressure, the ferry transports both passengers and vehicles three (3) times to the Northern Region. He noted that management of the Volta Lake Transport Company at Akosombo have made arrangement to bring bigger ferry to support the existing “ Akrade ferry” which picks less than ten vehicles at a time.
He emphasized that a technical team from Akosombo would come to work on the breakdown “Nana Besemuna” ferry to improve transport situation at the lake at Yeji.
The DCE of Pru Mr. Stephen Jalula has provided canopy shade to shelter the stranded travellers.
The Brong Ahafo Region Minister Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh had earlier visited the area and assured the people that he would liaise with the appropriate authorities to improve upon the current situation where travellers and vehicles are delayed to be transported across the lake.
The danger is that some traders have taken advantage of the situation to prepare food for sale. Some of such traders set fire close to the vehicles and people are afraid of such locations near to petrol and gas tankers can result to explosion.
Imoro T Ayibani