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Regional News of Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Source: GNA

Don't relocate Bolgatanga airport - Tongraan tells govt

Kugbilsong Nalebegtang, Paramount Chief of Talensi Traditional Area Kugbilsong Nalebegtang, Paramount Chief of Talensi Traditional Area

The Tongraan, Kugbilsong Nalebegtang, Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area in the Upper East Region has called on government to expedite construction work on the designated site for the Bolgatanga airport.

The Chief’s call came on the backdrop of the Minister of Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda's proposal in a recent interview on a local Radio station in Bolgatanga to relocate the Region’s airport to Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District.

“Throughout the country, airports are located at the Regional capitals. It is therefore not appropriate for the project to be relocated to a different town in the Region, when it is possible to iron out the bottle necks and continue with the project at its original site at Sumbrungu, where significant work has already started.”

The Tongraan was speaking on the theme, “Harnessing the social, economic and cultural heritage of our people for the development of Talenteng (Talensi land)" at a durbar of Chiefs and people of the Talensi Traditional Area at Tongo.

The proposed construction of the airport, which was a major project earmarked for the Region about 30 years ago was situated at Anateem, a community at Sumbrungu, suburb of the Bolgatanga Municipality.

The project was abandoned by succeeding governments over the years, coupled with misunderstanding by two communities within the same Traditional Area, Sumbrungu and Sherigu about the exact site of the project.

The proposed airport has a runway of about 120 metres width and a length of about 3.5 kilometres, when constructed, it would ease and facilitate the movement of people, goods and services outside the Region.

Commenting on activities during the election year, the Paramount Chief called on all political parties to conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner devoid of insults.

He admonished the youth not to submit themselves in anyway to be used by politicians to foment trouble during the election campaign.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Madam Tangoba Abayage, re-affirmed government’s commitment to complete rehabilitation and expansion of the 177 bed capacity Regional hospital in Bolgatanga.

She reminded the Chiefs and people of the area that “Government has secured funding to the tune of $20 million from the Saudi Fund to complete rehabilitation and expansion of the Regional Hospital, which also serves as a referral facility in the Region.”

The rehabilitation and expansion works stalled about three years ago after phase two of the project was about 98 per cent complete, a situation which had over the years increased pressure at the facility with staff battling for space to admit patients, especially during the rainy seasons and peak of admissions.

The Minister said the drone project was ready to cover the entire Region with emergency supplies such as blood and other health consumables. “All these put together will impact positively on the lives of the people in the Region.”

Madam Abayage said government was committed to ensuring “smiles on the faces of Ghanaians” in all sectors of the economy, including; the health sector.