Gambaga and Nalerigu, the twin towns in the East Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region are witnessing massive infrastructure developments across all sectors since the creation of the new region in 2018.
For the first time since independence in 1957, the once deprived towns have witnessed massive road infrastructural development with bitumen surfacing and construction of a modern and improved water system.
Street lights have also been fixed in both towns, which have improved visibility at night and encouraging commercial business activities among residents along major streets in the regional and municipal capitals.
A visit by the Daily Graphic last week to assess the progress of development a year on after the creation of the new region, saw some infrastructural projects in Nalerigu, the regional capital, and Gambaga, the East Mamprusi municipal capital, completed, while others were at various stages of completion.
The 10-km Gambaga and Nalerigu town roads project which was constructed at a cost of about GH₡24.7 million is expected to be completed in the next two months.
At the time of the visit, the roads had been pre-coated and the contractors are expected to return to site for the second and final coats to be laid on the roads.
Small town water system
Also, construction work on the small water system project for the two towns was progressing steadily and is expected to be completed soon.
So far, offices have been completed, while pipes have been laid across the towns with the remaining works being the installation of solar panels to provide energy for production of the water.
It formed part of the $45 million facility jointly funded by the World Bank and the government of Ghana to provide water in rural areas for six regions, of which Mamprugu was a beneficiary.
When completed, 35,000 gallons of water would be added to the system in each of the towns to ensure improved water supply to households.
Explaining the components of the projects to the Daily Graphic, the East Mamprusi Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Danladi Abdul-Nashir, said the World Bank was funding 70 per cent of the sustainable rural water and sanitation project, while the Government of Ghana was funding 30 per cent.
He said the project had a solar power module to support electricity supply from the national grid to ensure the constant supply of water.
A 1,000 tonne capacity warehouse has also been constructed at Gambaga under the government’s One-district, One-warehouse initiative, to help reduce post-harvest losses in the area.
The project is expected to improve on-farm practices such as handling and storage, which exposed farm produce to pests. It will also facilitate trade between small-scale farmers and wholesalers in major cities.
East Mamprusi is a major production zone for rice and maize with current production levels of between 4,000 and 5,000 tonnes per annum.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Abdul-Nashir said the government was on a drive to bring massive development to the people of the area.
He said within the past two years, a lot of measures had been put in place to leapfrog the infrastructure development of the area to address the challenges of the people.
“For the first time we are witnessing this massive development. As you have seen for yourself, a lot of projects are ongoing and this will go a long way to improve on the living conditions of the people. As we all know this area has been left behind in terms of development and the government is committed to turning their fortunes around,” he said.
The area, which was hitherto part of the Northern Region, has been deprived of development for the past years, for which reason the residents advocated strongly the creation of a new region to facilitate rapid development.
Some residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic said they were excited with the pace of development in the area, adding that the town roads and the street lighting system had beautified the towns and made their movements easy.
“The town roads in Gambaga have actually come to ease our movements in the town. When these roads were not constructed, people, especially motorists, crisscrossed each other always due to the bad nature of the roads but now it is not the same,” Mr Abdulai Halim, a resident said.
Another resident, Ms Ayishatu Haruna, said the water project had come at the right time because the people of the area had suffered a lot in accessing potable water, stating that “the topmost need of the people of Nalerigu is good drinking water; this is what we have been crying for and we thank the government for that.”
Other ongoing projects
There were other projects ongoing such as the construction of toilets and mechanised boreholes in some communities namely Sakogu and Langbinsi with funding support from the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) under the Ministry of Special Development Initiative.
The IPEP is one of the government’s flagship programmes aimed at eradicating poverty and minimising inequality, especially in deprived communities in rural areas across the country through the provision of basic infrastructure.
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