The Member of Parliament for Sissala East, Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, is confident the concerns about exclusion from the allocation of European Union-funded feeder roads in the Upper West Region raised by the people of Sissala West, Sissala East and Wa East, will soon be addressed.
He said this after a meeting with the Roads Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta and the Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 on the matter.
Mr. Issahaku on Eyewitness News maintained that the concerns of the people are legitimate.
“From following the press conference, I have better understanding of the concerns of the three areas. Looking at the agricultural map of Ghana, and the contributions these three areas make to the agrarian sector, I do not see why they will be excluded in such a project. I think it is only fair that as the MP, together with the Regional Minister we have to push this for our people.”
“I believe the meeting was productive and the Minister has agreed to look into the project. However, he would have to engage the other stakeholders on the matter. All in all, I am very hopeful that there will be light at the end of the tunnel,” he added.
The immediate past Deputy Upper West Regional Minister has been accused of supervising the exclusion of the areas while in office.
But Mr. Chinnia Issahaku has explained that he had no hand in it.
“What people need to understand is, there are various stages in executing a project. And this time around, we had a regional working committee which was headed by the Regional Director of Agriculture. And they had baseline surveys and came out with roads that should be tackled. And in this case, roads in Sissala East, Wa West and Sissala West were considered.”
“But from the Regional Committee, it got to the National Steering Committee and that was chaired by someone from the Ministry of Agriculture, and then somebody from the European Union. At the time, the Regional Coordinatinh Council was not a part of it. So after reviewing the work done by the region and submitting the work to the European Union, it went beyond us.”
“We got to know of the decisions taken by the steering committee when their work was presented and the award process was ongoing at the Department of Feeder roads. So I do not think it will be fair for anyone to say that, because I was Deputy Regional Minister, I should have known about it and done something about the situation.”
The EU-funded feeder roads project
The government of Ghana received a grant of €35 million from the European Union for the rehabilitation and maintenance of 670 km of feeder and farm access roads in the Upper West Region.
The financial support is aimed at improving inter-connectivity between areas of production and marketplaces.
In a joint statement released by the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the European Union, the sector minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, noted that the support falls in line with the government’s vision to provide a better transportation system for farming communities.
The grant comes under the larger EUR €160 million European Union-Ghana Agricultural Programme (EU-GAP) to develop sustainable agriculture in the Upper West Region.
The roads are organized in three packages, as follows:
1. Wa Municipal, Wa West, Nadowli-Kaleo (235 km)
2. Jirapa, Lawra, Daffiama-Bussie (210 km)
3. Nandom and Lambussie-Karni (225 km)
This intervention aims at improving inter-connectivity between areas of production and marketplaces in the Upper West Region.
The objective is to reduce the travel time on these sections of roads, promote road safety, and strengthen at the same time the institutional management of the transport sector.
The feeder roads are commissioned under Output and Performance-Based Road Contracts (OPBRC) managed by the Department of Feeder Roads under the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
To maximise the support intervention, the EU funding is administered under a Trust Fund administered by the World Bank as part of the Transport Sector Improvement Project’ (TSIP), which finances a larger national transport programme.