Ghana: Hundreds Demonstrate in Sunyani Over Bad Road

Sunyani — Hundreds of residents in the Sunyani Municipality and its environs yesterday embarked on afour-hour demonstration to register the bad nature of the 14 kilometre New Dormaa-Kotokrom township road.

The road had been under reconstruction but work had stalled.The situation had degenerated into a near unmotorable nature of the road due to the recent heavy rains, thus causing discomfort for motorists and other users.

When the protest began yesterday at about 7:00p.m residents from adjoining communities along the stretch, such as Yawhima, Kotokrom and New Dormaa joined the initial crowd to the Bono Regional Coordinating Council, where they presented a petition to the Regional Minister, Justina OwusuBanahene.

The demonstrators carried placards, some of which read: "Fix Our Road, Our Chiefs Must Talk,"Our Vehicles Are Getting Damaged, Where Is the Contractor," "No More Promises."

Others read:"Our Road Is Our Basic Need, Sunyani Deserves Better."

Some of the protesters drove in their vehicles - including tripper trucks - to the regional minister's office, giving the police a hectic time controlling the large crowd, who intermittently blocked the roads.

Spokesperson of the group, Isaac KumiBoateng, told journalists that they were unhappy about the delay in completing the reconstructing, saying it had not only caused inconveniences, but also resulted in the frequent breakdown of their vehicles with its attended cost of repairs.

He claimed thatseveral government officialshad given deadlines for the completion of the project, but went unfulfilled.

According to him, communities along the stretch, which formed the Sunyani-Techiman highway,and other road users had to breathe the dust resulting in health problems, while some residents were forced to relocate.

He said they were once again embarking on the demonstration to draw the attention of duty bearers to expedite action on the project.

Mr Boateng said they had organised similar protests in the past which resulted in the arrest of their members, but expressed the hope that their concerns would be addressed this time around.

The Bono Regional Minister, Justina OwusuBanahene, who received the petition commended the demonstrators for not resorting to violence, but rather embarked on a peaceful demonstration, saying it was their democratic right to do so.

She assured them of forwarding the petition to the appropriate quarters for redress.

The dual-carriage road project was awarded to a contractor in 2011, but was abandoned due to lack of funds. It was re-awarded in 2018 with a two-year timeline.

However, the contractor working on the road had left site with no apparent reason.

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