26 November 2012

Ghana: One District, Three Regions and a River Called Volta


Somewhere inside the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana, north-east of the space and hugging the south-western bank of the White Volta tributary that divides Brong Ahafo from the Volta Region, sits a district incomparable to many in the country - Pru District.

The Pru District is special, not only because of its location right on the beautiful banks of the Volta River, but also because it is a place where several ethnicities meet, continue to meet, and where most of them have lived in relative peace and harmony for many years. When the Akosombo Dam was being built, from 1961 to 1965, it caused the River Volta to form a lake - now called Lake Volta - which resulted in a swelling backwards of the waters, causing it to widen its channels and take up more width and volume to some extent. It is further north of this same lake created by the dam, along the river, that the traveller comes upon the vibrant, busy port, which serves to bring all these ethnicities to and through Pru. This is the Yeji Port, perched west of the river, the Volta Region far across on its other (eastern) side, and the Northern Region well, to its northern side. These three regions - Brong Ahafo, Northern, and Volta - form the boundaries of the port and its body of water, which daily serves several thousands of inhabitants, even visitors from neighbouring Burkina Faso and other countries. This is done by way of a ferry and several canoes which shuttle farmers, fishermen, traders, merchants, and tourists with their large stocks of agricultural produce, fish, merchandise, cars, and goods for trading and travelling both within and without the district.

Yeji happens to be the economic hub and capital of the Pru District, and the seat of the district parliamentary representation. When in Yeji, all one has to do is step out doors or off the main lorry park, and stroll down the main road - right into the Volta River, or westwards into the lush-green farming lands of yams, tubers, nuts, cereals, and other crops. All around, one will see Christians, Muslims, and traditionalists interacting familiarly, while they go about their daily businesses, presenting a mix of bright colours, various ethnic attires, and a potent potpourri of energy that is only bettered by the wide range of ethnic languages one hears being spoken. There are many, as diverse as the ethnic groups themselves - made up of the Nchumuru, Dagomba, Ashanti, Konkomba, Frafra, Ewe, Fante, Dagarti, Kusasi, Kasina, Nankana, Kanjaga, Moshi, and a few others.

The Pru District, therefore, sets an example for the country in terms of ethnic unity and progress. The executives pride themselves in this, humble though the achievements may be so far and in recent times, much has been done to make several improvements for the better living standards of the people. These efforts include making potable water available, scholarships and educational funding for the brilliant but needy and handicapped students of the district, infrastructure and roads developed, and being strategised upon is an updated means by which more livelihoods can be created for the people, by investing in projects such as grasscutter farming, large-scale crop cultivation, ICT institutions, women-empowerment entities and micro-credit schemes, youth sports development, and plans for growing tourism and jobs via the Volta River and Yeji Port.

The future for Pru looks promising. It looks bright, and the office of the MP for Pru - Dr. Kwabena Donkor, is happy and honoured to be part of this journey.

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