The Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has asked the contractor on the Benchma Junction (Barrier) to Adwofua cocoa road to speed up work on the road, as it has already suffered some delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he was happy to see that work was ongoing, however, he asked the supervising engineer on-site, Bric Fizer, to deploy more machinery and workers to work on the very bad stretches of the road.
He also asked that the potholes and gullies on the road should be promptly filled up to make the road more motorable for travellers who use the road.
Mr Boahen Aidoo made these requests when he and his delegation, who are on an inspection tour of cocoa communities, made a stop on the road to assess the progress of work and to interact with the contractor.
“I think they are doing a good job,” he remarked after the inspection. He explained that the project has suffered some delay because “the contract was awarded to the construction firm just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
So at the time they were preparing to come to the site, some of their engineers went to Israel and then all borders were closed.
After that, they could not come back. As we speak, there is only one engineer who is around. All the rest are locked up in Israel.
But I think, all in all, it is good that work is going on. We expect that by the end of 36 months, they should finish this work.
The 38-kilometre Benchma Junction (Barrier) to Adwofua road was awarded to Amandi Investment Limited, an Israeli construction firm under the Cocoa Roads Programme.
Construction of the total stretch is expected to take a maximum of 36 calendar months, although the contractor has assured that the work could be completed much sooner.
The road, he said, is very dear to the government, to COCOBOD and to the people of the area. It is the only road connecting many of the communities to their regional capital to assess important facilities.
It is as well a popular route for travellers to Kumasi and other major cities.
“In the interim, our main concern had been the road being motorable for travellers …because this is a major strategic road. It is the main artery to Kumasi, and it links up to even Côte d’Ivoire. It is used by all manner of road users, including even COCOBOD because our fertilisers go through this corridor to all our farmers in the heart of the areas of Western North. And then, we get our cocoa also through this main arterial road to Kumasi,” Hon. Boahen Aidoo said.
So, it is very very important and critical for us as COCOBOD and of course, our farmers because they need to access social services and facilities, and they can only do that through this road; even to the regional capital Sefwi Wiawso; you can’t get to Sefwi Wiawso without using this road.
He said COCOBOD’s engineers will continue to closely monitor the progress of work.