The Paramount Chief and residents of the Sirigu Traditional Area in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region have demonstrated to register their displeasure over neglect of a life-threatening collapsed bridge and other poor roads in the area.
Naba Roland Atogumdeya Akwara III, the Paramount Chief of the area joined opinion leaders and residents of the area to demonstrate after several appeals to have the Sirigu-Zorko collapsed bridge and other roads in the area fixed proved futile.
The demonstration was to draw the attention of the government to the poor nature of the roads in the area, particularly the broken Sirigu-Zorko Bridge which is a threat to the lives and livelihoods of the people.
The other roads the residents demanded immediate attention were the road between Sirigu and Kandiga and the Sirigu internal roads and drainage systems in the Sirigu market.
They held placards with inscriptions “we are suffering”, “Nana listen to us”, every life matters”, “fix the killer bridge now”, “people are dying from the bridge”, Mr Amoako Atta come to our aid”, “Sirigu is part of Ghana”, “our livelihood is affected, Mr President”, “we are cut off from trade, education, health etc.”, “Dr Bawumia, fulfill your promise of fixing this bridge in 2021.”
In a petition, signed by Mr Eden Akurugu, Secretary to the Paramount Chief of Sirigu, Mr Matthew Abanga, President of Sirigu Youth Association, Pognaba Miriam Apeka-Goya Kembula, Queenmother of Sirigu-Bugsongo and Mr James Nsoh, the Assembly Member of Sirigu-Gunwoko, the residents appealed to the Government to fix the roads particularly the Sirigu-Zorko Bridge to bring relief to the people.
They explained that Sirigu was one of the fast-growing communities in the district, however, it was bedeviled with numerous development challenges, particularly poor roads and the broken Bridge had further worsened their plight.
The Bridge links several communities in the Kassena-Nankana West District to the Bongo District and neighbouring Burkina Faso but has now become a death-trap for road users.
The road on which the bridge is located also serves as a shorter route from the Sirigu community to Bolgatanga, the regional capital, than any other route within the district.
The bridge started deteriorating in 2019 but eventually collapsed about one and half years ago due to the inability of government to rehabilitate it, making it difficult for vehicles to use it.
“Pregnant women referred to Bolgatanga Regional Hospital from the Sirigu Health Centre have had miscarriages due to the bad road network. The collapsed bridge has stalled economic activities in the area since trucks and cars cannot pass with foodstuffs and other commodities.
“This is making businessmen and women in the area who depend on the market poor and poorer. Students from across the country who attend the only Senior High School in the area are also affected by the bridge and the bad road network,” they lamented.
They also indicated that the poor roads presented a security threat to the people of the area considering the community was near countries where activities of terrorists had been experienced.
They said the Paramount Chief and other opinion leaders of the area had appealed many times to the government through the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly to have the roads especially the Sirigu-Zorko bridge fixed but their efforts had not yielded any positive results.
“When the bridge and bad roads are fixed, it will promote the health, education, economic, security and tourism potentials of the area and Ghana as a whole,” they added.