Bumper harvest, poor roads
2010-11-30 22:35:31This article has been read 672 times.
Large quantities of yam are locked up along the eastern corridor of the Northern Region because of the bad nature of the roads there.
According to farmers in the region, truck drivers had refused to ply the area because of the poor nature of the Yendi-Bimbilla-Hohoe road, which is the shortest and most direct route to the south.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that this season, farmers in the region recorded one of the highest yields ever.
Some truck drivers also told the Daily Graphic that on a countless number of occasions, they had had to offload their cargo of yams on the way and abandon the journey when their vehicles got stuck.
The road, which was already in a bad state, has worsened with onset of the rains. Long stretches remain flooded, consequently cutting off some of the communities located along the highway.
Vehicular movement on this route has since been gravely hindered by the presence of gaping potholes and rocks.
“We will not be able to sell our yams if the government does not do something about this road,” a farmer, Alhaji Abdul-Razak, told the Daily Graphic in Bimbilla.
He said failure to sell the yams would lead to heavy losses, which would further aggravate their poverty situation.
Over the weekend, the farmers, together with other inhabitants of communities located along the Yendi-Bimbilla portion of the highway, staged a public protest to state their displeasure over the bad state of the road, which is an important economic route for the nation.
With some of them carrying placards reading “No roads, no vote” and “We too deserve good roads”, the residents threatened to boycott the 2012 general election if the government failed to rehabilitate the road.
Through the Northern Regional Minister, the protesters later presented a petition to the President, in which they claimed that the poor nature of the road impacted negatively on their livelihoods, particularly in the transportation of agricultural produce to market centres in the south.
“It is through this road that our hardworking farmers get their farm produce transported to Accra through Hohoe, to Kumasi through Yeji and to Tamale and Bolgatanga through Yendi,” the petition read.
The inhabitants lamented over the failure of past governments to rehabilitate the road, although they had promised to do so, and urged the current administration to fulfil its pledge to repair the road.
In September this year, President John Evans Atta Mills, on his return from Japan, announced that the Japanese government had pledged support for the construction of the Eastern corridor highway to link Hohoe in the Volta Region to Kulungugu in the Upper East Region.
By that announcement, the farmers said, their hopes had been raised and, therefore, they used the protest to remind the government not to dash the renewed hope, as had been done in the past.
The Deputy Co-ordinating Director of the Nanumba North District Assembly, Mr Seidu Abdul-Aziz, who received the petition, assured the
people of the government’s commitment to rehabilitate the road because it had been given a high priority.
He said information available indicated that efforts were underway to commence work on the project any time soon and, therefore, appealed to the inhabitants to exercise patience.