Feature Article of Friday, 10 February 2012
Columnist: Adjei, Emmanuel
And The Abesim Royal Cemetery Residential Area In Sunyani
Economic infrastructure mainly consists of all forms of energy, all modes of transport, all types of communications and meteorological services. And the development of basic infrastructure in Ghana has been the slogan of almost every government since independence. The objective is to create an enabling environment in which all sections of society can contribute to a sustained and accelerated rate of social and economic development through the establishment of an efficient and integrated infrastructure system which is responsive to the current needs and anticipates the future requirements of the productive sectors of the economy.
The various approaches adopted by the various governments were and are focused on four main pillars as follows:
1. Delivering an efficient health infrastructure
2. Delivering sustainable transport infrastructure
3. Facilitating increased access to basic water and sanitation infrastructure services that includes solid and liquid waste management plus efficient drainage systems that seek eliminate flooding.
4. Ensuring an equitable, efficient and reliable energy supply in every community and;
5. Creating and supporting information and communication technologies
Ghana, for the past thirty (30) years has seen massive improvement in the above areas although still not enough even with the help of major development partners like the World Bank among others. Probably that’s why the present government has gone in for the US$3BILLION Chinese loan. But before this money comes the residents of Abesim Royal Cemetery (Ahenfo amusie) residential area will like the world to know their plight. This area in question is about two kilometers from the OTI SAWMILL first gate on the Abesim – Sunyani main road and just beyond the new resident of Opanin Yaw Boateng-Djan.
This area which is one the fastest growing residential areas in Sunyani lack accessibility to clean drinking water although it is not far from the source. Those who have the means have to dig their own wells.
The general level of sanitation is also low. Only a small proportion of the population has access to flush toilet systems. The rest have to defecate in the bush or dug-out toilets leading to high levels of morbidity and environmental pollution.
Access to clean water and effective sanitation has a catalytic effect on many aspects of human development, being essential for a healthy population and environmental sustainability. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 88 per cent of diarrhea disease is attributed to unsafe water supply, inadequate sanitation and hygiene. High incidence of vector-borne disease, intestinal disease, and trachoma in developing countries is strongly correlated with unsanitary practices and the absence of nearby sources of safe water.
Efficient communications network help improve the living conditions of every citizen. They reduce transportation cost, increase competition, reduce marketing margins, and in this way can directly improve farm incomes and private investment opportunities. Contrary, this area lacks transport infrastructure. The only good feeder road to this area ends at the resident of Opanin Yaw Boateng-Djan. This was upgraded recently by the big man (may the good LORD richly bless him). Residents therefore have to walk about two kilometers before catching a taxi at the Oti Sawmill or Gynie Guest House junction. The limited road network and its poor condition limit access to health facilities, schools and jobs, inhibit economic growth and inflate prices, particularly for food.
Electricity is seen in modern as a basic necessity for human activity and economic and social development. Access to electricity power supply is a key component of alleviating poverty and an "indispensable element of sustainable human development," of the residents of “Abesim Ahenfo Amusie” area. Electricity supply to this area is very very low – single phase. Good electricity supply ends at the big man’s area. To be honest it’s not his making he came to meet it and may not even be aware that areas beyond his house are suffering. The only person who is aware is the Sunyani Municipal chief executive – Mr. Akwasi Oppong, a catholic and a citizen of Abesim. This man to the best of my knowledge is not interested in the infrastructural development of this area. He, according to our Assembly man, through a so called World Bank initiative extended electricity power supply (double phase) to residents of a near-by area popularly called the northern valley (the valley just beyond the Abesim Catholic Church or the Abesim Chief’s house - not palace) neglecting those up the hill for reasons unknown to the residents who had paid for the cables and poles for the low-electricity power supply.
Surprisingly, all infrastructural developments end at Opanin Yaw Boateng-Djan’s area. This man has absolutely no knowledge as to why these things happened. He only came to meet this selective infrastructural development. He moved to this area just recently and may not be aware of this.
We have been neglected and are appealing to the government, especially the honorable regional minister and the Volta River Authority to come to our aid.