“These damaged bridges are very important since they enhance free movement of people and enable farmers to cart their produce to market centres,” a resident said.
The appeal was made when the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, and a delegation from the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) inspected some of the damaged bridges.
During the tour, Mr Yakubu also interacted with the chiefs and residents to reassure them of efforts to improve development in the area.
Mr Yakubu was accompanied by the Regional Engineer of the Ghana Highways Authority, Philip Samini; the Regional Manager of the Department of Feeder Roads, Paa Bruku-Boateng, and some staff of the RCC.
The team inspected a concrete bridge between Zorkor and Sirigu which caved in about four years ago, the damaged steel bridge across the Gugura River which connects Navio and Tazika Bagtua to Paga, and a sinking steel bridge that connects to Manyoro.
The team also inspected the ongoing construction of a GH¢51 million 11-kilometre road from Sumbrungu to Namoo, which will serve as an alternative road to Burkina Faso.
Mr Yakubu acknowledged the importance of the bridges, and said: “It is essential for the government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways to recognise the current situation as an emergency and take urgent steps to reconstruct them to bring relief to the people”.
“Indeed, I am not a happy man today seeing the state of the damaged bridges which form part of the many developmental challenges that are eating up the region,” he said.
He further admitted that the current state of the bridges posed a security risk, and that the necessary proactive measures would be put in place to reconstruct the bridge so that soldiers could use that stretch to respond to any threat to Ghana’s security.
Mr Yakubu said the Sumbrungu to Namoo road, which connects to Burkina Faso, would reduce the pressure on the Bolgatanga-Paga-Burkina Faso road.
“Obviously, this road will improve economic activities between the two countries for their mutual benefit,” he said, and commended the contractor for work done so far while urging that the quality be maintained.
The Regional Engineer of the Ghana Highways Authority said studies had been conducted for the remaining 11 kilometres of the road to be approved and awarded.
The contractor for the project, Hussein Baba Abdul Muyasir, expressed concern about the delay in payment for work done so far, and urged the government to do the needful so that the project could be completed by the end of the year.
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