Stakeholders in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region have expressed displeasure over the poor road network connecting communities in the area to the district capital, Paga.
They said major roads linking communities to the district capital, market centres, health and educational facilities and other districts in the region among others were in deplorable state and unmotorable to users.
The stakeholders expressed these concerns at a town hall meeting organised by WaterAid Ghana, water and sanitation focused organisation, as part of its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in community project being implemented in the district and Bongo District.
Major roads including Paga-Sirigu road, Paga-Nakolo, Paga-Chiania, Babile-Kajelo, and Kandiga Junction-Mirigu-Sirigu among others had broken bridges and culverts and gorges created on the roads, cutting off some communities from accessing certain social amenities at the district capital.
Pe Gideon Aloah Awoligo III, Senior Divisional Chief of Nakolo, explained that the roads had been left for long without any attention paid to them and the situation posed serious threat to lives and economic activities in the district, adding “it is very difficult coming to Paga”
He said some market places, schools and healthcare facilities did not only lack infrastructure but they did not have WASH facilities including toilet facilities, thereby compelling people to practice open defecation.
The Chief said the Nakolo market did not have toilet facilities and had only one borehole serving the market and the community, that he said compelled traders who patronised the market on daily bases to practice open defecation.
Pe Thomas Asangehera Aluah, Divisional Chief of Kazigu, noted that lack of community involvement in the implementation of many of government’s project was one of the reasons for poor execution of projects in the area.
He stated for instance that the One Village One Dam policy was poorly executed and failed to serve its purpose because the implementers did not involve major stakeholders in the communities including the chiefs.
He noted that suggestions were made to government to use the money from the one village one dam policy to desilt and rehabilitate existing irrigation dams to store more water to help farmers engage in all year farming instead of constructing new ones.
He said the dams at their current state could not store enough water for farmers to engage in dry season farming and called on the government to take urgent steps to improve upon the dams to help improve agriculture activities in the area.
Some participants also noted that furniture deficit was a huge challenge confronting most schools in the district compelling school children to learn on the bare floor exposing them to health complications.
Mr Alconsa Baertinus Aneateba, the District Engineer, Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly, noted that the Assembly was aware of the numerous development challenges confronting the district but lack of funding had been the bane.
Mr Gilbert Asante, the Programme Officer in charge of Policy, WaterAid Ghana, noted that the town hall meeting which was being held in its operational areas was to create a platform for citizens to demand accountability from duty bearers on the implementation of development projects.
He urged the participants to always exercise their rights as enshrined in the Constitution to demand for development especially in the area of WASH which had a significant role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.