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Regional News of Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Stand-off between contractor, landlords delaying progress of Asesewa-Dawa road

Road works on the Dawa Korlewa-Anyaboni Quarters-Asesewa road have stalled play videoRoad works on the Dawa Korlewa-Anyaboni Quarters-Asesewa road have stalled

Correspondence from Eastern Region

Hopes of commuters who ply the 22km Dawa Korlewa-Anyaboni Quarters-Asesewa road in the Eastern Region of an early completion the road would continue to remain on hold until a stand-off between the contractor undertaking the project and landlords who are supplying laterite over quotation prices for the laterite is resolved.

The stand-off is one of two reasons GhanaWeb gathered is delaying the progress of construction of the road which construction began in 2018 and is expected to take 18 months to complete. It would facilitate the transportation of food crops from major farmlands in the area to the market centers in Asesewa, Akateng and Agomanya.

District Chief Executive for Upper Manya Krobo, Felix Nartey Odjao when contacted by GhanaWeb to explain reasons for the delay attributed the suspension of works on the stretch to the refusal by landlords to accept the offer by the contractor for the laterite.

A visit by GhanaWeb revealed that heaps of laterite gathered by the contractor and ready to be transported to the site to fill the base of the road, were still sitting on the farms.

A paper showed to this Correspondent by the landlords which contained the amounts being requested revealed that six of them are demanding a total amount of 40,407 with that of the seventh landlord unavailable.

This is contrary to a total amount of GH¢9000 being offered by the contractor.

Compensations were however paid to the landlords for crops destroyed on their farms to pave way for the contractor to gather the laterite.

A spokesperson for the landlords, Andrews Narh Agbertey said though they demanded to know from the contractor how much was going to be paid to them before going ahead to gather the material, the contractor however explained that this can only be determined after gathering the laterite.

He said what was subsequently offered to them was inappropriate.

“They first offered a total of GH¢3,000 to all the landlords to share and we said no and they said they will apply force if we don’t compromise. They increased it a bit and then finally to GH¢9,000 but we still rejected that amount as well,” said Mr. Agbertey.

Two years on however, the laterite still stands on the farms with some of them overgrown with weeds.

The last resort available to the landlords, they say, is to seek legal redress in court. “By and by we shall send them to court”, threatened Mr. Agbertey.

Mr. Baning Appiah, Managing Director for Banappi Company Limited, contractors undertaking the road project when contacted corroborated the claims of the landlords but added that the company cannot afford to pay what the landlords are demanding.

According to him, the company will not cheat the landlords as its quotations for only the laterite and not the land is even above the average plot prices in the area.

He questioned why the landlords are demanding “huge” amounts when the company is not buying the lands but only the laterite after which the lands will be returned to their owners.

Dadematse of Dawa Korlewa, Wayo Moses urged the contractor and the government to meet with the landlords for an amicable solution to the impasse.

“The government should come to us so together we can address this problem. We won’t stop them from accessing the laterite but we all need to benefit, we get what we deserve and they also get the laterite,” he said.

He said stalled works on the road is causing a lot of problems for his and other adjoining communities as he has to personally drain water that collects on portions of the road after the rains.

The Dadematse also expressed regret over the “destruction” of sources of livelihood of the farmers as the lands can no longer be used for farming purposes following the excavations undertaken.

“They have nowhere to farm and this is a big problem for them and that is why they are demanding amounts that can sustain them for some time,” he said.

Residents, drivers and passengers plying the road had in an earlier interview with GhanaWeb bemoaned its bad nature and appealed to government to complete rehabilitation works begun three years ago.

The road network which links major farms in the area to the market centers is in horrible shape with farmers finding it difficult to transport their produce to these centers.

Contract for the repair of the road was awarded to Banappi Company Limited in 2018 but not much progress has been made due to lack of funds and the stand-off.

Though gutters and culverts have been laid, work has since stalled, leaving various portions of the road in terrible shape.

This has become a big brother to the road users who are calling on the government to intervene immediately in order to fix the road.