The delay in naming a strategic investor to help revamp the ailing Komenda Sugar Factory has deepened the woes of the establishment.
Currently, the $60-million factory located at Komenda in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) municipality in the Central Region is wasting away, as it is overgrown with weeds resulting from three years of lying idle.
The harsh weather conditions and the salty breeze from the Atlantic Ocean that lies about three kilometres from the factory have triggered rapid corrosion of the metallic parts of machinery at the factory.
During a visit by the Daily Graphic to the factory last Thursday, it was observed that weeds had virtually taken over the premises, making it a haven for rodents and reptiles.
The rusty metallic parts of machines indicated that further delay in putting the factory to use could lead to additional costs in terms of repairs and replacement of those parts.
At the cane yard, for instance, the cane table which drops sugar cane into the conveyor belt during processing was rusted.
The cutter, which receives sugar cane from the conveyor belt for processing, and the vaporisation chamber had not been spared, as they were also dusty and lay idle.
When the Daily Graphic got to the site about 12 noon, there was very little human activity going on. Just a few of the core technical staff, comprising agronomists, engineers and mechanics, had gathered for a meeting. Security men were, however, around to protect the property.
The state of the factory is a major source of worry for residents of the municipality, who have called on the government to expedite action on naming a strategic investor to revamp the dormant factory.
According to them, the dormant state of the factory had robbed many of them of their sources of livelihood, a development which had in turn negatively affected business activities in the area.
They also said the continued neglect of the factory defeated the government’s One-district, One-factory (1D1F) industrialisation policy.
One of the residents, Abusuapanyin Ebow Jones, described the state of the factory as an eyesore and called for immediate steps to revamp it.
“The people of KEEA were so happy when the factory was inaugurated by the previous government in 2016 because it created a lot of employment opportunities and brought life to the catchment area.”
“The businesses of our youth and women started soaring and we all heaved a sigh of relief, but now we are in sorrow because the factory has been left idle and grasscutters have taken over, instead of human beings.”