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Regional News of Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Mass migration hits cocoa growing community in Ashanti region

The Ashanti Region town of Timeabu in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality can pass for a typical example of youth exodus.

Almost every young man and woman has moved out of the community in search of greener pastures.

Besides economic factors, lack of basic social amenities is compelling children to leave in droves, leaving behind the elderly.

Statistics from the United Nations indicate 836 million people worldwide live in extreme poverty.

Despite the global launch of the Sustainable Development Goals to commit countries to providing relief, the situation persists.

Timeabu is a cocoa growing community located on the Ejisu-Kwaso road. It is about 20 kilometers off the main Kumasi- Accra Highway.

The town’s significant contribution to Ashanti Region’s share of cocoa production and potential to do more are undoubted.

However, the youth are not interested in farming as ageing farmers struggle to make most out of their sweat and toil.

Mohammed Ali is 75 year old farmer. He says most young ones who should assist on the farms continue to leave the community.

“Most of us are very old; the absence of electricity is really a challenge. I had so many young ones who support us in our farm. But they are all leaving the community. There is nobody to assist you in your farms. We really need electricity hear”.

The absence of electricity is compounding the discomfort of travelling to and from the town on a bad road.

Commercial vehicle operators are unwilling to ply the rather dusty road to the community.

Commuters are often forced to walk about 5 kilometers from the main road to catch a vehicle.

Teachers leave schools in the area as frequent as they are posted there.

Parents are worried because their children are being denied their right to good basic education.

“The absence of electricity and the bad roads are the reason the teachers continue to leave the community”, a parent said.

A community with an estimated population of 500 has no clinic.

Sick persons walk about 7 kilometers to the nearest health facility to access healthcare at Kwaso.

Ziaratu Mohammed is a young mother. She recounts the difficulties she endures when she is in labour.

“When we are sick, we have to walk to Kwaso which is very far from here. No commercial vehicle is willing to ply this route. In pregnancy, we, sometimes, have to walk and it is very frustrating. Authorities should come to our aid. We need a health facility”.

Sustainable Development Goals require signatory countries to implement nationally appropriate social measures.

It is meant to achieve substantial coverage of the poor and vulnerable by 2030.

With conditions such as this prevailing at Timeabu and many others across Ghana; achieving the goals can only be a herculean task.