Work on 97.6-km Tema-Mpakadan railway 80% complete

Work on the 97.6-kilometre Tema-Mpakadan rail line is about 80 per cent complete, the Minister of Railway Development, John Peter Amewu, has said.

He said the ministry would work around the clock to complete it by the end of the year to augment the country’s transportation system and boost its related socio-economic activities.

He was speaking at the palace of the Akwamumanhene, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, at Akwamu in the Asougyaman District of the Eastern Region when he paid a courtesy call on him.

Accompanied by officials of the Ministry, Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA)  and other project partners, Mr Amewu, who is the Member of Parliament (NPP) for Hohoe, was here as part of a working visit to inspect the rail project.

The delegation inspected the Mpakadan Rail Head Terminal, Volta Rail Bridge and Doryumu railway station and other major parts of the project, to have firsthand knowledge of progress of work.

The project begins from Tema through Afienya, North Tongu District in the Volta Region, Manya Krobo and terminates at Mpakadan, a few kilometres away from Akosombo.

Started  in 2018, it is  is part of the 1,000km Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity Project, which is expected to link Ghana from Tema to Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.

It was scheduled to be completed in June last year but it was delayed by factors including several workers contracting COVID-19.

Mr Amewu said although the project was “about 70 to 80 per cent” complete, there was still a lot more to be done, hence the need for the support from Akwamuman, which had come in handy since the beginning of the project.

 He said the government remained committed to the opening up of the existing railway network in the country as a tool for the country’s development.

He recalled that some years past, the railway sector was vibrant, but it deteriorated due to poor maintenance culture, adding that there was more for the country to gain if the sector was fixed.

“The government wants to revive the sector because no country can work without railway. With your support, Ghana will become a shining star in the region,” he said.

Mr Amewu assured Akwamuman that they would not be sidelined in the distribution of benefits, including scholarship associated with the project while other concerns brought to his attention would be resolved.

Interacting with journalists during the tour, he said progress of work was encouraging and the ministry would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to resolve all challenges being encountered.

He said the ministry was in touch with its Burkinabe counterpart to ensure the commencement of that stretch of the project expected to begin next year.

The Chief Executive Officer of GRDA, Yaw Owusu, told journalists that the Ministry of Finance had approved the purchase of two coaches which would transport passengers from Tema to Mpakadan and they were expected to arrive in the country before the completion of the project.

Earlier at the Palace, Odeneho Akoto urged the government to facilitate the rehabilitation of some roads in the town.

FROM JONATHAN DONKOR, AKWAMU

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