Residents of Keta in the Volta Region, continue to express mixed feelings about the government’s determination to construct a seaport in the area. The uncertainty by the residents is informed by the fact that no activity has taken place at the proposed site for the port project.
Early this year, the President, Nana Akufo Addo signed an Executive Instrument to commence the construction of a seaport in Keta. The signing of this Instrument by the President was in fulfilment of a campaign promise to the people of Keta.
Subsequently, the government appointed Dr Alexander Adusei as Director of the yet-to-be constructed Keta Port, a situation which caused many to express misgivings towards the project.
A visit to the proposed site at Kedzi saw two flags - the national flag and that of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) - in addition to a signpost with the caption “Site for the Port of Keta. Keep Off.”
When contacted, the Municipal Chief Executive for Keta, Godwin Edudzi Effah, assured that, the government is committed to constructing the Keta port to boost economic activity in Keta and its surrounding communities and beyond, for which reason government had christened the entire municipality as port zone starting from Havedzi to Vodza.
For decades, establishing a major economic activity in the area has been very difficult due to high tides and erosion by the sea. The government has invested millions of dollars to construct sea defence along the coastal area, particularly in Keta and Akplorwotorkor in the newly created Anlo District, to halt the destruction of the sea.
This development, however, has paved the way for a major project such as the seaport to help reduce poverty in the area. The MCE for Keta hinted that processes to award the project on contract has started, adding that the GPHA Board Chairman, Mr Peter Mac Manu indicated that 19 companies have applied to engage in the main construction work out of which seven have been short-listed.
Municipal Chief Executive for Keta, Godwin Edudzi Effah
The MCE said, request for feasibility study (RFP) by the seven companies will start in September this year and are expected to complete the feasibility study within a period of four months. The report will then be handed over to the GPHA where the best among the seven will be awarded the contract to commence actual construction.
GPHA Officials in Keta
In August 15 this year, the Board of Governors from the GPHA led by Mr Peter Mac Manu, introduced the newly appointed Director of Keta Port Dr. Alexander Adusei to the Awormefia Torgbi Sri III.
The delegation included the Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa and his deputy, Mr Johnson Avulete and the Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Makafui Wornya.
The delegation from GPHA which included engineers and administrators, later visited the proposed site for the construction and mounted flags - Ghana flag and the flag of the GPHA - indicating the imminent commencement of work.
Mr Effah also assured the residents that by March next year the President, Nana Akufo Addo, would cut the sod for work to begin on the Keta Port project. He noted that in addition to the construction of the Keta Port, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye (MP) and Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiama (MP), would jointly cut sod for the construction of a landing site at Havedzi in October this year to support fishing activity there.
“This will be different from the main harbour. That means we will be having two facilities here like it is in Tema; the fishing habour on one side and the main harbour on another side,” he emphasised.
Mr Effah, however, assured communities around the proposed site that the construction of both facilities will not in any way affect them negatively.
According to him, activities would include dredging of the Keta lagoon, land reclamation and construction of various offices within the catchment area and these activities will start shortly.