Deplorable roads are making life unbearable for residents of Dunkwa-on-Offin, Ayanfuri and neighbouring communities in the Upper Denkyira East municipality in the Central Region.
Roads in Dunkwa and the Dunkwa-Obuasi road have been neglected for years, leaving residents of those predominantly mining and farming communities despaired.
The main road in Dunkwa in particular could pass for a crisis situation, as the bitumen on the entire 10-kilometre stretch has been stripped off.
The residents have been left with no option but to battle with potholes which some of them describe as “fish ponds” and “manholes”.
The onset of the rains has worsened the situation and made vehicular movement difficult.
Ordeal of residents
This came to light when the Daily Graphic visited the area last Monday, in the company of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, who was on official duty in the municipality.
According to the residents, the poor road network had made it difficult for them to cart farm produce to the market centres.
While drivers complained about the constant breakdown of their vehicles because of the deplorable roads, passengers and residents counted their economic and social losses.
The drivers said apart from impeding the free flow of traffic, the bad roads often caused severe damage to vehicles.
The cost of doing business had also increased because of the longer time a commuter had to spend on the road, they added.
A resident, who gave his name as Paa Kwasi, laid the blame on bad leadership.
“We are disappointed in our leaders. They do not care about us. Look at what we call roads here.
They dumped gravel here when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was touring this region two weeks ago.
Now the rains have exposed them. Look at how the road has become — muddy,” he said.
A 38-year-old driver, Mr Kofi Adu, said the state of the roads was a betrayal of the confidence they had reposed in political leaders over the years.
“Our vehicles break down almost every day and we have to use the little money we get to repair them.
The sad thing is that we are even made to pay tolls on this Dunkwa-Obuasi-Ayanfuri road.
We voted for the leaders not to come and build mansions for us but to fix our challenges such as our roads,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Denkyira Traditional Council has sent a distress call to the government to take immediate steps to fix the roads.
The Denkyira Adontenhene, Nana Agyei Nkyere II, said despite the fact that the area produced mineral wealth, successive governments had failed to repair its roads.
He appealed to President Akufo-Addo to pay particular attention to the roads in that part of the country.
Nana Nkyere made the call when the Lands Minister led a delegation, including representatives of agencies under the ministry, to the Denkyira Traditional Council.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh was in the municipality to launch one million oil palm seedlings for distribution to beneficiaries under the Alternative Livelihood Support Programme, an initiative by the government.
In response to the Adontenhene’s distress call, Mr Asomah-Cheremeh assured the people that urgent steps would be taken to address their concerns.
“We admit that your land is a land of gold and so you deserve better.
I want to assure you that the government will act swiftly to fix your roads to make life better for you.
Some of the roads have already been given to contractors to work on and so I plead with you to bear with us as we work to address the challenges,” he said.