The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa has expressed concern over illegal sand winning activities in the Keta and Ketu North Districts of the Volta Region, describing it as the region’s own form of galamsey that must be dealt with.
He said even though the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) had put a number of measures to nip the practice in the bud, it had not been easy as it involved some influential people from the region.
“In Keta and also in North Tongu, the issue that we are facing is serious security issues. We are trying to fight and we have established a task force. The Regional Security Council has also established a task force to help the Municipal Security Council to address this canker,” he said.
Dr Letsa who was taking his turn at the state of the region’s, media engagement platform put together by the Ministry of Information for the regions to provide updates on developments in their respective regions, said the practice was undermining the sea defence wall.
“The sea defence was done to protect the Keta Coast and we are now undermining the sea protection wall through the sand winning,” he emphasised.
The minister, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders to join in the fight to bring the canker to the barest minimum.
Touching on the development of the region from 2017 to date, he said the government had so far worked to improve the motorable sections of the Eastern Corridor Road from 30 per cent to about 80 per cent since assuming office.
Dr Letsa gave assurance that the crucial road network which connected the Greater Accra Region to the Northern Region, was being given all the attention it deserved.
According to him, only about 30 per cent of the Eastern Corridor road had been in motorable condition by December of 2016.
These included portions like the Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu section which was in terrible condition, as well as the 62km Nkwanta to Oti Damanko section, and the 96km Oti-Damanko to Yendi road, which he claimed were all in no state to write home about.
However in the last six years, significant portions of the road have seen massive improvement. They include the 53km Have-Hohoe portion, of which 35km is now in good motorable condition. About 22km of 30km Hohoe-Jasikan road which was completely unmotorable has now been given a facelift.
The Jasikan–Dodo Pepesu road which had been completely unmotorable is now completely done and is serving the adjoining communities.
The same applies to the Oti Damanko to Yendi road (96km) and the Yendi-Gushegu road (68km) which were all in deplorable states, but today had been completed.
In all, about 360km of the 457km Eastern Corridor Road, representing about 75 per cent of the Asikuma Junction-Gushegu road network had been made motorable.
Other road projects which had been embarked on in the last six years included the dualisation of the Ho main road, which came with traffic management works as well as the dualisation of the Ho-Sokode roads.
Hohoe town roads also saw a facelift with asphalt being overlaid on the 15-km stretch of roads. Klefe town roads were also upgraded in the period.
The 16km Akweteh to Adaklu Waya road, and the Agbonyira-Fodome Ahor roads also underwent some bitumen surfacing, while the Dzolokpuita-Bame cocoa road had also been upgraded.
Some bridges had also been constructed to connect some cut-off communities, and they included the construction of the 70km steel span bridge on the Galosota-Bomingo feeder road, the construction of the 175km spine steel bridge linking Agbenorxoe to Kpando.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL