From Samuel Agbewode, Sokode-Lokoe
Residents and commuters have lashed at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for deceiving them with the construction of a dual carriageway from Sokode to Ho, weeks before the 2016 general elections.
The Ho public said it was evident that the NDC used the construction of the road as a bait for votes, when the road had not been awarded to any contractor or payment done for the works, and so after getting a contractor to mobilise to site to work on a large stretch of the road, the road has become horrible again.
Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle at Sokode-Lokoe, some drivers argued that they believe that the NDC did not award the road to any contractor, because up to date, the name of the contractor cannot be seen displayed anywhere by the road, as is the practice.
Divine Awudi, a taxi driver, explained that to the best of his knowledge, the NDC did not officially award the contract.
Citing the construction of the Abotoase-Asukwakwa-Dambai road, which started under the government of former President Kuffour, he said though the construction of the road to Dambai was not completed before the NDC took over the administration of the country, the contractors continued with the project and completed it because it was duly awarded.
He, however, appealed to the government to, as a matter of urgency, ensure that the construction continues and must be completed, because the current nature of the road is posing danger to commuters, especially as the rains set in.
Holding a contrary view, another commercial driver who commutes between Ho-Sokode and Kpong, Seth Mornu, said the NDC awarded the road contract and that when the new government took over governance, it halted the project, “because it is a common practice with political parties winning election.”
Godwin Amenume, resident of Sokode-Lokoe and Mana Atitsogbui, told The Chronicle that during the dry season, residents are covered with thick red dust due to the nature of the road.
They fear the outbreak of air borne diseases should the government fail to get the road fixed.
The Over-lord of Asogli, Togbe Howusu Adzi Lackle, at a recent public function in Ho also lamented over the poor nature of the road, particularly about how the project has been abandoned.
Recalling the promise made by President Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo that his government would continue with ongoing road projects, Togbe Howusu Adzi Lackle asked the President to walk the talk to ensure that the project from Sokode-Ho is completed.
Before the 2016 elections, some earth works had started on the said road and Togbe Howusu Adzi Lackle said it is sad that the stretch that was seeing the first phase of work has developed potholes, after the project was abandoned.
However, an officer at the Ho Urban Roads, who pleaded anonymity, told The Chronicle that the road was duly awarded to China Railway No. 5 Engineering Ghana Limited, with Fas Consult Limited as the supervising consultant.
Not too long after the contractor had started work on the project, he temporarily had to vacate the site due to some financial constrains, the source explained.
He said funding for the project is being resolved by the government and promised that the contractor would soon mobilise to site to continue with works on the Sokode-Ho dual carriageway.
He concluded that stakeholders at Sokode and Ho were invited to a meeting in Ho, where they were shown the road design and for their cooperation with the contractor.
“All those whose buildings would be affected were educated on the project,” the source told The Chronicle.