‘No Road No Vote’ in this twenty first century? Roads, they say, are the arteries of any village, town, city or a country for economic and social development. Bad roads are therefore an enduring nightmare for traders and other road users within the Oti Region and beyond.
Oti, a newly created region that produces a higher amount of yam, fish and other food stuff’s in supporting Ghana’s economy with a fast growing population.
Development in the six (6) new Regions, according to the president will be decentralized, the Oti Region, is not only embarrassed on the state of it roads but also a drain on residents in the region.
The towns of the region are known for their distinct features in terms of landmark, cultural and traditional history. The nature of the roads is however affecting the economic impact these cultural histories and landmarks could have made on the communities where they are located. Farming and fishing which the region could leverage on to raise revenue for its development is greatly hampered because the roads leading to the sites are very deplorable and so difficult to even convince any produce to the known market centres for more capital.
Tourist attraction sites like the Kyabobo centre in the Nkwanta South Municipality, the Shiare water falls in the Nkwanta South Municipality face low patronage due to the deplorable nature of roads leading to these facilities.
This, the Oti Regional capital, Dambai — a city that has gained popularity beyond the shores of the newly created regions is not spared of the deplorable roads.
POOR ROADS IN THE OTI REGION
Kpassa, Damanko, Bonakye,Chinderi, Burai, and other major areas within the region, some of which have become municipalities are still battling with roads that have developed big potholes.
Some are dusty during the dry season, muddy and slippery in the rainy season and the daily struggles of the road user worsen with the gaping potholes that have taken over the roads.
The bad nature of these roads in the Oti Region doesn’t only affect agriculture, traders and commuters but also education and healthcare delivery.
Kpassa to Nkwanta, the situation affects quality healthcare in the area as not only ambulances transporting patients are affected, but also ‘Pragia’ which are the commonest means of transporting the sick to the hospital. These vehicles are not able to move with the required speed due to the bad state of the roads and often it is a risky venture transporting patients. Imagine a patient undergoing intravenous infusion, what we commonly call drip, and having to be transported on a pothole-riddled road from one hospital to the other. Picture a woman in labour being ferried from her home to a hospital on such a road!
Farm produce from hinterland fail to reach the city or municipal centres. This is a discouraging to farmers in those areas as their labour is not rewarded simply because the means to transport foodstuffs to the appropriate markets are not there. They end up selling their produce cheaply or watch they rot on their farms. This affects the region or country’s overall food security as foodstuffs would have to be sourced from other countries to meet consumption levels.
For almighty Kpassa, a town which is touted as Oti’s Yam City, the least talk about bad roads there, the better. The Nkwanta to Kpassa road is considered one of the most bad roads in the region. Yam has been produced in this town and it jurisdictions for over a century, yet the state of roads there is nothing short of disgraceful and embarrassing.
The police find it very difficult to fight crime and commuters who use these roads on a daily basis bear the brunt of the nature of the dusty, slippery and muddy roads.
Given the picture painted above, the disappointment grows daily in a region where people have strong affection for the ruling political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) though they lost their only seat in the Krachi East constituency at the 2020 elections. Indeed, the Oti region is a stronghold of the governing party among the new Regions. The loyalty of the region to the party is such that the NPP has not made above hundred thousand votes in elections in the 4th Republic until the region was created and has set that new records
For some, the dilemma remains whether to keep churning out the worthy votes while they endure the roads not worthy of their commitment, or the beneficiaries of their votes will attend to their call to rehabilitate the roads.
Residents, commuters and general road users appear fed-up with the poor state of the roads in the region.
Deep potholes are turning into gullies on roads within the Nkwanta North District which were rehabilitated before the 2020 general elections. Drivers and road users, who hailed the project when it was being executed, now see most roads in the region as death traps.
Evans Manasseh, I attribute negligence on the part of officials who were supposed to play supervisory roles when the project was being executed, and shoddy work on the part of the contractor who undertook the project, for this waste of resources.
There are ongoing campaigns by residents and some NPP constituency and regional executives in Kpassa and the Oti region to get the bad roads fixed. For residents and road users, the anger over bad roads in the region is growing every day and gets worsen.
For me, worthy votes cannot beget such unworthy roads. The roads continue to be Oti Region’s dearest nightmare, and the earlier duty bearers heed the call of residents to address the concerns, the better.
I ask, with the above visuals, how will Residents consider and understand the government’s ‘Year of Roads‘ promise, to me it’s just a slogan.
What and how will NPP Communicators convince residents ahead of 2024 when ask to speak on roads?
Yes, Party folks will continue to defend, support and vote for their party but don’t they deserve better roads too?
The Oti region is blessed with 12 Radio stations in only nine (9) constituencies. Some for about five to ten years, what impact have they made on roads in the region? Cheep politics taking over the credibility of the media as talking birds fly’s in water. How many time have our ‘So Called’ senior journalist and regional correspondents reported the state of our roads with back to back follow ups for positive results,? Yes most work at NPP, NDC pro Radio stations but don’t we deserve better too?
In the past two years, 80% of our reports are Programs that will pay us ‘Sole‘ while 20% talks about community development and so on, a change in our report will impact Oti, but when?
In some regions, the concern youths in the various Constituencies are the mouthpiece of development. In Oti, the Numerous youth groups are manipulated by politicians and and iota of fear. Working as a journalist in the Oti Region in the last three years, Youth have not demonstrated on bad roads that affects many sectors of development.
Is the future of our mother Ghana for us? When and how will the authority hear our grievances. A situation I describe as ‘Youth of Spectators’
Oti is lucky to have at least a traditional council in almost all the constituencies. Do they visit the president like others have been doing?, Yes , the president has visited the Oti Region at least once every year, what’s their petition and what’s the results. Other chiefs in the southern and other areas makes headlines of development, ours makes headlines of cheep politics and political gains.
Reasons to prove Oti deserves better roads is beyond publications. Our dearest nightmare is our roads get it fixed.