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Opinions of Thursday, 18 February 2016

Columnist: Naa Lamiley Bentil

A look at roads in the Eastern Region

For many decades, the people of Asuokaw, a cocoa-growing community in the Eastern Region, could not boast a single tarred road, a situation that is common to many emerging urban areas of the region but which negatively affects the health and well-being of members of such communities.

Indeed, short journeys, usually to cart farm produce to nearest major markets, take ‘forever’ as vehicles trudge in tortuous terrain.

Passengers, including teachers, nurses, doctors and children going to work or school are compelled to inhale highly polluted, dusty air, which thickens with every passing vehicle.

This experience is, however, changing for many of these communities including Asuokaw as the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) reaches out with packages of road projects.

The projects

There were a total of 10 projects at various stages of construction last year, and which stretched from Koforidua to Somanya, Mamfe, Suhum-Nsawam, Asamankese and Kibi.

These projects are being undertaken by various contractors, majority of which are local companies.

The Eastern Regional Director of DUR, Mr Frank Osei Sekyere, told the Daily Graphic that the projects sprawled from the nearest town to the regional capital, Koforidua, to the furthest with the key objective of opening up emerging urban areas, some of which were hitherto cut off just because of the absence of a culvert.


In Koforidua, Messrs Worth-Well Company Limited is resealing the 6.2- km road from Mile 50 to Oyoko roundabout.

Before the resealing, there were many potholes at various sections of the road which served as the major road connecting motorists moving into Koforidua from Okorase.

“Work done so far is about 90 per cent, and many of those who used to complain to us have returned to commend us,” Mr Osei Sekyere stated.

“By resealing, the development of potholes is halted, and the investment made on the road is protected,” he said.

Also in Koforidua is the sealing of the Osabene, Nyamekrom, Densu and Atekyem road networks which connects homes and businesses. These projects are being executed by Messrs Joe Azar Company. The contractor had laid primer seal on the Osabene stretch of the project at the time of the visit.


Perhaps, the rehabilitation of a slaughterhouse at Akweteyman junction phase one, stretching from Kerm-Mornu-Brigade and Ogome Plandey, and the phase two from Salosi and Agikpo link roads at Somanya are some of the challenging projects.

“The encroachment is heavy. So far, seven single rooms have been built for those whose structures were in the right of way, and we still have a few to deal with before the project can be completed,” Mr Osei Sekyere stated.

The contractor, Messrs Wumraq Limited, who is working on the Salosi project, held back work for several weeks to allow for the relocation of more residential properties and utility lines.

Extensive work has been carried out on the drains; “but for these encroachments, the drainage work would have been completed”, Mr Osei Sekyere stated.

A resident of the area, Mark Teye Addo, said he was happy with the project.

“This road has been very bad and sometimes inaccessible to motorists for so long. One of our major problems was the lack of drains and we are grateful that the government has remembered us,” he stated.


Messrs Reputation Company Limited is undertaking the reconstruction of the Mamfe Town Roads and the internal roads in the Mamfe Methodist Girls Senior High School.

The drudgery associated with commuting in the town, according to some residents, has eased considerably even before the completion of the work.

Personnel of the company were preparing the road for the application of primer seal at the time of the visit.

The Project Manager, Mr Abubakari Ahmed Rufai, said the project was on schedule and would be completed on time.


Messrs China Jiangxi Zhongmei Engineering Construction is currently stockpiling chippings to tar the Independence (Old Kumasi) Road, Adarkwa (Zongo) Road, and Sustesco Road in Suhum. Construction work on these roads started on May 21, 2015, and the contractor has just about four months to complete work.

The Independence Road stretches from the Suhum town to meet the Accra-Kumasi highway and hence carries a lot of traffic.


The School for the Deaf at Kibi also benefited from the DUR projects last year. Messrs Kasmos Company Limited has completed earthworks on the 5-km project, which also includes the road that leads to the nurses’ quarters.


Residents, who live at Roman Down and in and around Yayo and Zongo, would soon be riding on a tarred road as Malin Investments Limited executes work on those roads.

Currently, the company, according to Mr Osei Sekyere, has completed about 90 percent of the drains. When the team visited the project site, personnel of the company were engrossed with work on a culvert which would connect motorists from the main road to Roman Down.


It is expected, among others, that the completion of these works would drastically improve the environmental condition along the selected roads, reduce travel time as well as vehicle operation cost.