Work has begun on the construction of 15 kilometres asphalt overlay on some road networks within the Agona Swedru town to enhance both the movement of vehicles and economic activities in the town.
The roads to be asphalted include portions of the Swedru-Winneba, Swedru-Bawjiase roads, by-pass-99 junction-Mandela road, Ahmadiyya –Wawase road, Darfi and Tufuhene streets, among others.
The project, being executed by Maripoma Limited with funding from the Road Fund, is expected to improve the major roads in the town to meet its status as the capital of the Agona West Municipality.
The work on the roads was a continuation of the previous project started in 2016 by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress administration but was later abandoned by the contractor apparently for lack of funds after completing only five kilometres of work.
On Monday, November 4, 2019, members of the Peace Taxi Drivers Association embarked on a demonstration over the poor state of roads within the town and the angry drivers used tables and burnt tyres to block all the entry points to Swedru.
Their action brought both commercial and economic activities in the town to a halt and that left many traders and passengers stranded for hours.
Passengers from all the entry points into the town were compelled to alight at the outskirts and walk to the main town carrying their belongings to continue their journey to their various destinations.
Additionally, a youth group called the Concerned Youth of Agona Swedru (COYS) on November 27, 2019, also staged another demonstration to press home their demand for the roads in the town to be improved to ease transportation.
Both demonstrators presented a petition to the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, for prompt action on the deplorable state of the roads within the town and they were assured that plans were far advanced to get the contractor back to complete the project.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic after inspecting the progress of work last Thursday, Mrs Assan expressed gratitude to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for ensuring that the municipality had its share of development in terms of roads.
According to her, the government was committed to improving poor roads in the municipality, especially roads in the remote communities, to enable farmers to cart their farm produce to the market centres for sale.
She noted that the state of roads in the Swedru town had been a great source of worry to motorists, in particular, saying that “government had not turned a blind eye on it since the ministry responsible was going through the required processes to get the roads fixed.
Mrs Assan stressed that the government sympathised with drivers who had to spend huge sums of money on spare parts due to the poor state of roads, indicating that the assumption of the asphalt project would bring a huge relief to the people”.
For her part, the Member of Parliament for Agona West, Mrs Cynthia Morrison, commended the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako Atta, for ensuring the release of funds to the contractor to return to site to complete the work.
The assembly, in its quest to improve other access roads, had received an amount of GH?7.5million from the World Bank as part of the secondary cities project to improve 25 kilometres of roads in Swedru.
The beneficiary roads are Osama station, Kwame Donkor, Esukontsen, Otabilkrom and Egya Ebusua as well as the paving of the main Swedru taxi station and the forecourt of the Swedru town hall.
Additionally, roads in Swedru such as Pipe Tank-Wawase, St Germain-Kwansakrom, Yaabem area roads and Pipe Tank-Awoyom and others, had been selected to benefit from the phase II of the Sinohydro loan facility project.
Also, as part of measures to enhance connectivity among communities, the assembly had constructed a number of culverts and the beneficiary areas are Bebianiha, Otabilkrom, Low Cost, Abodom, Kwesimoko, Assissim, Nsusososo, Egya Ebusua, Swedru Artisan Village and Upper Bobikuma.